Asian Parliament special committee meeting kicks off in Islamabad

Asian Parliament special committee meeting kicks off in Islamabad

ISLAMABAD (APP): A three-day meeting of the special committee on creation of Asian Parliament and Asian Parliamentary Assembly (APA) Standing Committee on political commenced here on Tuesday with speakers at the inaugural session underling the need to work together for confronting shared challenges.

Being hosted by Senate of Pakistan, the meeting was jointly inaugurated by Chairman Senate Mian Raza Rabbani and Speaker National Assembly Sardar Ayaz Sadiq.

Over 70 delegations from twenty-two Asian countries, including members of parliaments and speakers are attending the meeting.

Speaking at the inaugural session, Speaker National Assembly Sardar Ayaz Sadiq said it was the collective responsibility of Asian countries to work towards comprehensive and integrated socio-economic progress of the entire region through dialogue, understanding and consensus.

"We must work together for confronting our shared challenges by combating violent terrorism and extremism, poverty alleviation, reducing impacts of climate change and ensuring human rights and global economic development," he said.

He said the role of Asian Parliamentary Assembly (APA) was crucial in promoting unity and providing a concrete framework for regional cooperation to strengthen human rights protection and democracy. It was imperative for the APA; he said to strive for strengthening parliamentary ties among members, which could eventually lead to inter-state trade and economic cooperation.

He said Asian region was rich in socio-economic, cultural, geographical, and developmental aspects.

"Forward looking trade policy, improved supply chains and production networks have transformed Asia during the recent decades. However, major impediments exist including violent extremism, transnational terrorism and regional conflicts.

"Not just that, flashpoints like Palestine, Syria, Iraq, Jammu and Kashmir and Afghanistan are a continuous threat to regional peace and harmony," he added.

He said Asia today was the most disturbed region in the world.

"From the middle-east crises to the rise of Daesh, and the animosities of south-east Asia, there are challenges before us. But let us not forget that the democracies don't fight with each other."

He asked the APA member states to intervene for the peaceful resolution of all outstanding disputes in light of the UN Security Council resolutions and in accordance with the aspirations of the people.

He pointed out that Pakistan's efforts in the war against terrorism and stated that the its Pakistan, backed by the Parliament, launched consensus-based military operation "Zarb-e-Azb", which had been remarkably successful in the campaign against terrorism and extremism.

Ayaz Sadiq expressed the hope that the member parliaments would ensure their effective participation at regional and international fora with a view to promote transnational collaboration in the resolution of international disputes.