About Ahmed Bilal Mehboob
A thought leader, a public intellectual and a social entrepreneur, Mr. Ahmed Bilal Mehboob established the first-of-its-kind globally recognized political, non-partisan and public policy think tank: Pakistan Institute of Legislative Development and Transparency (PILDAT) in 2002. PILDAT’s research, analysis, advocacy and capacity-building has helped broaden and inform public and stakeholder discourse reflected in various constitutional, legal and policy reforms across many areas of democracy, democratic institutions and democratic governance.
A civil engineer by education and training, Mr. Mehboob had a professional career in the Engineering profession in Pakistan, USA and Saudi Arabia holding senior management positions as Projects Director & Division Head. However, Ahmed Bilal Mehboob returned to Pakistan to answer his true calling to contribute to strengthening democracy and democratic institutions in Pakistan and established PILDAT as an organisation created and led by Pakistani citizens with a belief to strengthen Pakistan’s democracy and democratic institutions. Since its creation, PILDAT has, as a cardinal principle, employed and upheld its independence and non-partisan approach. It has very carefully ensured that its research agenda and analyses are rooted in open-minded inquiry reflecting diverse points of view. PILDAT is well-recognised as a serious and independent think tank in policy-making circles, across legislatures, and media within Pakistan and abroad which reflects Mehboob’s commitment to promoting democracy, peace and equality in Pakistan.
Mehboob’s special expertise lies in assessment of quality of governance and democracy, electoral reforms and monitoring, parliamentary performance and development, civil-military relations, strengthening political parties, leadership and political development of youth, promotion and assessment of the rule of law, right to information and much more. He is a thought leader and has set-up various eminent intellectuals groups to find innovative solutions to Pakistan’s problems such as the Dialogue Group on Civil Military Relations (DGCMR), Democracy Assessment Group (DAG), Governance Assessment Group (GAG), Citizens Group on Electoral Process (CGEP), etc. He has designed and conducted trainings and capacity-building courses on a large variety of policy issues for Parliamentary Leaders, MPs, Legislative and Government officials, political party office bearers and youth leaders, among others. Mr. Mehboob has employed exceptional networking and interpersonal skills in bringing various political parties and leaders to converge on various reform initiatives, in addition to successful efforts in bridging the perception and knowledge gap between the civil and the military, constitutional reform initiatives, reforms on internal democracy, legislative strengthening and various aspects of crucial public policies.
Mr. Ahmed Bilal Mehboob regularly delivers lectures at Pakistan’s premium public policy institutions, including National School of Public Policy and its affiliates, defence institutions such as the National Defence University and Command and Staff College, public and private institutions of academic excellence, as well as many national, regional and international think tanks and research institutions. His expert views and analysis is sought across national and international media. Apart from his regular column in Pakistan’s prestigious newspaper, the daily Dawn, he is often requested to provide analysis and views for news stories, columns and news reports across national and international publications.
His key areas of expertise relate to the following:
- Parliament (Functions, Performance, Reforms)
- Democracy (Assessment of the Quality of Democracy)
- Electoral Process and Reforms
- Civil-Military Relations
- Political Parties Development
- Governance (Monitoring and assessing the Quality)
- Women in Leadership
- Youth development
- Right to Information
- Rule of Law (Pioneered the first provincial rule of Law Index)
What is PILDAT?
Pakistan Institute of Legislative Development & Transparency-PILDAT (www.pildat.org) is an independent, non-partisan and not-for-profit indigenous think tank based in Pakistan. Founded in 2001, PILDAT also focuses on producing objective, research-based analysis on policies especially under review by the Parliament and the Executive. PILDAT focusses on political and public policy research, formulation of policies in the field of democratic governance, policy advocacy and capacity-building of national and provincial legislators, elected local government officials, political parties, officials of the executive, youth, women and media.
As a think tank, strengthening democracy and democratic institutions in Pakistan is PILDAT’s mission. Following are the flagship areas of PILDAT’s work:
- Parliamentary Development
- Parliamentary Monitoring
- Assessment of Quality of Democracy
- Study, Research in Electoral Process and Reforms
- Inter-Institutional Relations
- Political Parties Development
- Assessment of Quality of Governance
- Capacity Building of Women in Leadership
- Youth development
- Study and Promotion of Right to Information
- Studies and Research in Rule of Law
Further details about PILDAT’s work can be obtained from its website: www.pildat.org
Mr. Ahmed Bilal Mehboob has skills and expertise in many flagship areas with special focus on providing thought leadership, evidence-based independent research, design, implementation, policy reform and effective policy advocacy capabilities such as:
- Democratic Political Governance
- Parliamentary Development including development & delivery of Legislative Strengthening Curriculum
- Parliamentary Monitoring including developing indigenous framework for monitoring
- Quality of Democracy
- Electoral Reforms, including Electoral Systems & Electoral Process Monitoring
- Civil-Military Relations including conceptualization and facilitation of Dialogue Group for Reconciliation and Conflict Management
- Political Parties including needs assessment and required strengthening, evaluation & analyses for party leadership and cadre
- Quality of Governance
- Youth Leadership Development
- Right to Information
- Rule of Law
- Conceptualisation, setting-up and management of small, medium and large business and organisations
- Executive management of large and small teams, projects and programmes
- Design and execution of training courses, capability-building briefing sessions, seminars and Conferences
- Monitoring and evaluation skills
Networking and Moderating Skills
- Over 3 decades of experience in building and maintaining networking connections with national, regional and global leaders across political, cultural, professional and industry spheres
- Exceptionally adept at bringing together global, regional and national leaders on a variety of policy dialogues, conferences, policy interactions and study visits including conceptualization and facilitation of Dialogue Groups for Reconciliation and Conflict Management on Civil-Military Relations, Dialogue on Relations between the Muslim World & the West bringing Pakistan-origin MPs from across World’s Parliaments, and design and delivery of dialogues and interactions aimed at broader consensus on conflictual issues such as Water Resources, etc.
- Vast experience of successful moderating and facilitating of variety of policy dialogues by bringing together numerous global, regional and national leaders and professionals from fields including civil and military professionals, constitutional, legal and legislative experts, political party leaders and office-bearers, subject experts, academics, media professionals, public opinion leaders, and development professionals, etc.
Interpersonal & Public Speaking Skills
- Research, design and delivery of public lectures, courses and presentations for a variety of audience including global, regional, national and sub-national government, political parties and legislative leaders, civil and military executives, business professionals, youth leaders and students
- Interactions with Presidents, Prime Ministers, Provincial Governors, Chief Ministers, Federal and Provincial Ministers, Chairmen & Deputy Chairmen Senate, Speakers & Deputy Speakers of National and Provincial Assemblies under various administrations in Pakistan since 1997.
Research and Writing Skills
- Vast experience of carrying out independent, evidence-based research and research management in a large variety of areas
- Writing, editing and contribution to over 3000 publications including background and briefing papers, assessment, evaluation and activity reports, monitors, etc.
- Regular op-eds in publications such as Dawn, Arab News, etc.
Parliamentary & Political Study Visits
Mr. Mehboob designed, facilitated and led many regional and international Study Visits and engagements by bringing along eminent MPs and representatives of political parties. Many of PILDAT publications and studies have been shaped by these visits. Some of these have included:
- Study Visit of Pakistani Parliamentarians and Intellectuals to Republic of Indonesia, July 2017
- United States – Pakistan Legislators Dialogue Forum, April 2015 and Study Visit of Pakistani Parliamentarians to the United States, October 2004
- Pakistan Delegation Study Visits to UK & Denmark, 2015-2017
- Pakistan-Afghanistan Parliamentary Dialogues: 2013-2016
- Pakistan-India Parliamentary Dialogues: 2007 – 2016
- Pakistani MPs Study Visits to India: 2004 – 2017
- Visit of Chair and Members of the National Security Committee, Parliament of Pakistan to UK Parliament, July 2012
- Study Visit of Defence Committees of Pakistan Parliament to UK Parliament, December 2015
- Study Visit of Young Parliamentarians of Pakistan to UK Parliament, November 2013
- Study Visit of Members of the Public Accounts Committee of the Provincial Assembly of North West Frontier Province of Pakistan to UK Parliament, May 2004
- Pakistan Parliamentary Delegation Study Visit to Canada, May 2009
- Pakistan Delegation Study Visit to South Korea, April 2013
- Study Visit of Parliamentarians and Members of PILDAT Dialogue Group on Civil-Military Relations to Republic of South Africa, May 2011
- Study Visit to Indonesia, February 2013
- Study Visit of Pakistani MPs and Members of PILDAT Dialogue Group on Civil-Military Relations to Turkey, November 2013
- Study Visit of Pakistan Parliamentary Committees on Defence to Turkey, November 2009
- International Symposium of Changing role of Parliaments in the Budget Process, Turkey, September 2000
- Pakistan Parliamentary Delegation’s Study Visit to Canada, October 2010
- Study Visit on Civil Military Relations to Indonesia, October 2009
- Study Visit Members of the PILDAT Dialogue Group on Civil-Military Relations to Germany, November-December 2010
- Young Parliamentarians Study Visit to Germany, 2003
- Study Tour of Secretary Generals of Leading Political Parties of Pakistan to study the Social Democrat Party (SPD) and the Parliament of Germany, May 2004
Regional and International Conferences
Mr. Ahmed Bilal Mehboob has been invited to speak at various regional and international conferences and forums. Some of these include:
- Stockholm: Visit and Interaction with the International IDEA team at the International IDEA headquarters, March 2, 2015
- Brussels: Perspective on Forthcoming General Election in Pakistan at the European Parliament at Brussels, March 07, 2013
- Ditchley Park: The Ditchley Foundation Conference on Democracy and the Power of the Individual, Chipping Norton, UK, February 3-5, 2011
- White Oak: US-Pakistan Civil Society Dialogue: Leadership Planning Retreat, White OAK, USA, April 30 to May 02, 2010
- Belgium: Attended Series of briefing at NATO HQ; Brussels; Belgium: August 17-22, 2009
- Doha: Conference of the State Parties to the United Nations Convention against Corruption, Doha, Qatar; November 09-13, 2009
- Ottawa: Democracy Dialogue 2009 on Democracy in Fragile and Conflict Affected Situations. Ottawa, Canada; November 23, 2009
- Bangkok: Regional Consultation on Democracy and Development, Bangkok, Thailand; January 28-29, 2010
- Dhaka: Member, Commonwealth Observation Group to observe Bangladesh General Election, December 2008
- Paro: Speaker at International Conference on Deepening and Sustaining Democracy in Asia, Paro, Bhutan October 11-14, 2009.
- Jordan: Speaker at the conference on Security Sector Governance in the Arab Region: What Role for the Civil Society by Foundation for the Future (FFF): Amman, Jordon; June 22-23, 2009
- Turkey: Speaker at the closing conference of The Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV) project on Civilian Capacity Building and Democratic Consciousness Raising in Security and Human Rights; Ankara, Turkey; June 11, 2009
- Canada: Study visit along with the National Assembly Standing Committee on Finance; Ottawa, Canada; May 10-17, 2009
- United Kingdom: Study Visit with National Assembly Standing Committee on Defence; United Kingdom; April 26-30, 2009
- Bangladesh: Election Observer with Commonwealth Observation Group to observe Bangladesh General Election; December 29, 2008
- Canada: Attended the Anniversary Roundtable & Reception Hosted by Governance Village and the Parliamentary Centre, Ottawa, Canada; December 8, 2008.
- USA: attended the Stimson Center Meeting; Washington, DC; November 24-25, 2008
- India: Study visit of India with Pakistan Parliamentary Delegation; Nov 17-22, 2009
- Afghanistan: Attended the Workshop on Parliamentary Budget Process; Kabul; Afghanistan; Oct 28-29, 2009
- Australia: Participated at the International Seminar and Workshop on Parliamentary Indicators and Benchmarks organised by Griffith University and World Bank Institute at Brisbane, Australia; September 21-24, 2008.
- USA: Attended the Workshop on Study Group of Eminent Scholars on Civil Society Engagement in National And Global Governance; Honolulu, Hawai, USA; July 14-16, 2008
- Ukraine: Spoke at World Movement for Democracy 5th Assembly in Ukraine; April 06-10, 2008
- USA: Meeting by No Peace Without Justice on Justice Rapid Response Mechanism; New York; Nov 28-29, 2007
- USA: Invited to deliver a Talk at United States Institute of Peace (USIP), Washington D.C.; Nov 27, 2007
- Bangladesh: Global Organization of Parliamentarians Against Corruption (GOPAC) Workshop on Curbing Corruption in South Asia; July 11-12, 2007
- USA: Speaker at Human Development Foundation Convention, Chicago; May 25-28, 2007
- South Korea: Visit to Study Civil-Military Relations in South Korea by the S. Korean Government: November 21-27, 2006
- Italy: Justice Rapid Response Meeting, Venice; June 2006
- Indonesia: NEEDS Asia Forum, Jakarta: April 2006
- Sri Lanka: Represented Pakistan at the Regional Consultation on Violence relating to Elections organized by UNDP, Nov 24-25, 2005 and authored the Country Report
- Qatar: Broader Middle East and North Africa (BMENA) Civil Society Meeting on Human Rights at Doha, Qatar; Nov 7-8, 2005.
- USA: International Civil Society Summit 2005 organised by IFES at Washington DC to discuss issues relating to democracy and elections; Oct 2005.
- Lebanon: BMENA Civil Society meeting on Transparency and Measures against Corruption organized by the Transparency International at Beirut under the umbrella of the Forum for the Future; Sept 2005.
- USA: Harvard University, Kennedy School of Government, Ash Institute, Conference on “Making Democratic Government work: Connecting principle and people; April 2005
- Morocco: International Colloquium on Pluralism and Electoral Processes (A dialogue between the Civil Society Organizations and Senior Government Officials of the G8 and BMENA countries); Oct 2005.
- Philippines: 2nd International Legislative Development Conference, Strengthening Legislature in Response to Globalisation and International Security Issues, December 2004, Philippines; presented a paper on ‘Capacity of Legislative Committees in Pakistan’
- Morocco: First Meeting of the BMENA Forum for the Future, December 2004, Rabat, Morocco
- Lebanon: Regional Forum on Reform and the Role of Civil Society Organizations in the Arab Region, Broader Middle East and North Africa – BMENA, September 2004, Beirut, Lebanon organised by UNDP
- USA: Made presentation to G8 and BMENA Foreign Ministers on behalf of BMENA Civil Society; September 2004, USA; one of the two persons to represent BMENA Civil Society.
- Mongolia: International Civil Society Forum on Civil Society Partnership for Democracy, September 2003, Mongolia; presented a paper on ‘Pakistan: challenges to democratisation and the civil society’
- Germany: Presentation on Political System of Pakistan, International Academy of Leadership; August 2003.
- Philippines: Regional Forum on Effective Legislative Oversight for Transparency and Accountability, December 2001; presented a paper on ‘Strategic options for strengthening legislative oversight’
- Philippines: PARAGON Meeting on Human Security Issues and Policy Options, December 2001, Philippines
Life and Experiences
Mr. Mehboob holds a B.Sc. degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Engineering & Technology Lahore, Pakistan. His penchant for politics and commitment to democracy since his early life meant an active role in student politics. Mr. Mehboob was elected as President, Engineering University Students Union from 1971-1972 and also served as Chairman, Lahore Students Council in 1972. As President of the Students Council, he represented Pakistan as an official National Delegate at the World University Service General Assembly at Ibadan, Nigeria in August 1973. He also represented Pakistan as Joint Secretary, World University Service at Geneva, Switzerland in 1972.
As a professional Civil Engineer, he has worked in the Middle East and the USA holding senior management positions as Projects Director & Division Head. As part of his initiative to contribute to Pakistan’s development and serve Pakistan’s community, Mr. Mehboob first established the Pakistan Cultural Group in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia in 1985. Later, he pioneered the establishment of Institute of Overseas Pakistanis (IOP) to contribute to the development of Pakistan by bringing together a network of Pakistani professionals living and serving abroad. Mr. Mehboob served as founder Secretary General of the IOP. Various innovative steps were undertaken by the IOP including conceptualization and publication of monthly Pakistan Calling, an international and independent magazine for resident and overseas Pakistanis published by the IOP. Mr. Mehboob served as its Editor-in-Chief. Under the IOP, an Overseas Pakistanis Education Network – OPEN was set-up through which primary schools were opened across Pakistan in areas where no government facilities of primary education existed. Under the leadership of Mr. Mehboob, the IOP also established the Overseas Pakistanis Science & Technology City (OPSTEC), US $ 5 million project initiated and funded by Overseas Pakistanis to promote non-commercial education, training & practice of Information Technology in Pakistan.