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27 May 2007

Pakistan National Under 17 Debating Championship

LAHORE College of Arts and Sciences (LACAS) won the Pakistan National Under-17 Debating Championship, with Lahore Grammar School (LGS) Defence branch coming in second place.

The topic of the final contest was “This House Wants to Curtail Freedom of Speech”.

LACAS opposed the topic while LGS proposed it. The contest was a close one, with judges split in favour of LACAS 4-1.

Abeer Tariq of LGS got best speaker of the tournament award while Palvashay Sethi of Headstart came second. The Debating Society of Pakistan arranged the contest.
The foundation for the Debating Society of Pakistan (DSP) was laid in 1992 with the formation of the Lahore-based English Spearking Union by Mr. Raziuddin Sheikh. Over the years, we have undergone various changes as we have grown, and are today the largest platform for parliamentary debate in Pakistan.

The DSP organizes three major national tournaments a year, in which more than 50 instituions from all over Pakistan take part. The three national tournaments are: a.. The Raziuddin Sheikh National Under-19 Debating Championship b.. The National Under-17 Debating Championship c.. The National Inter-Universities Debating Championship. In addition, the DSP holds workshops facilitated by debaters and judges with international experience to train upcoming debaters and judges.

At the concluding ceremony, Sonnu Rehman, Debating Society Pakistan president, highlighted the need for Pakistan to open its minds to discussion rather than promoting vandalism and violence. She also felt the need to promote debating and arrange training workshops for coaches.

The final contest was held at LGS 1-A/1 branch. Sunday’s event was big, with teams from Lahore, Rawalpindi, Islamabad and Karachi taking part. Twenty-two teams participated in the tournament. Each team was made up of five members (three speaking members and two resource members). The tournament was stretched over three days and five rounds. They were 50 judges from Lahore, many of who were accomplished speakers themselves.

The teams that made it to the quarterfinals included Aitchison College A and B teams, LGS Defence A team, Karachi Grammar School, Headstart Islamabad, Beaconhouse canal campus, LGS Johar Town and LACAS. Out of these, the LACAS, LGS Johar Town, LGS Defence and Headstart made it into the semis. LACAS and LGS Defence made it to the finals, with LACAS triumphing.

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