Steps taken by Pakistan dealt a serious blow to terrorism: President
The heads of the parliaments from six regional countries at the First Speakers’ Conference have called for establishing a joint mechanism to cope with the challenges of terrorism and security besides promoting the inter-region connectivity.
Hosted by the National Assembly of Pakistan, the three-day conference commenced in Islamabad on Sunday with an objective to focus the parliamentary cooperation for peace, connectivity and prosperity in the region.
The theme of conference is “the challenges of terrorism and inter-regional connectivity”.
Besides, Speaker National Assembly Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, Speaker of the Wolisi Jirga of Afghanistan Abdul Rauf Ibraheemi, Speaker of the Shoora-e-Islami of Iran Dr. Ali Larejani, Chairman of the State Duma of Federal Assembly of Russia Volodin Vyacheslav Viktorovich are attending the conference.
Speaker of Grand Turkish Assembly Ismail Kehrman and Vice Chairman of the National People’s Congress of China Zhang Ping, addressed the inaugural session of the international event.
Vice Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress China Zhang Ping said ” no country alone can address the challenges, being faced by the mankind and we will have to work together to tackle them.
He said we should commit to secure peace and stability through collective efforts”.
He said that China is working with the international community to combat terrorism and stressed the need for joint efforts to defeat this menace.
Speaker of Islamic Consultative Assembly of Iran Dr. Ali Ardeshir Larijani said Islam is the religion of peace and those, misusing the name of religion for terrorist activities are doing no service to Islam.
He said that we have to see the root-causes of the terrorism while fighting with it.
President of the Wolesi Jirga of Afghanistan Abdul Raouf Ibrahimi said addressing the challenge of terrorism should be our priority as our progress, peace and prosperity are deeply linked to it.
He said Islam does not allow anyone to kill people as it is against the humanity, killing one person means killing of whole humanity.
Chairman of the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation Vyacheslav V. Volodin said we can defeat terrorism through collective efforts.”
He called for choking funding for terrorism and strengthening legislative measures in this regard.
Speaker of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey Ismail Kahraman said the conference is going to yield positive results and therefore, it needs to be made permanent feature.
He said that for last many years, Turkey has been facing terrorism.
Addressing the inaugural session President Mamnoon Hussain said that terrorism is not a local phenomenon rather it is caused by interference of the foreign powers.
He said that the terrorism has created immense problems in several countries of the region with Pakistan being the most affected.
He said that Pakistan has initiated comprehensive steps to cope with the situation and had done so under the National Action Plan while an effective action has been taken in tribal areas under Operation Zarb-e-Azb operation.
The President said as a result of these steps, the terrorists have received a severe blow.
He expressed the hope that the conference would prove extremely beneficial in combating the challenges being faced by the region as well as to utilize the opportunities for regional development and prosperity.
President said that the geography, common values of opinions and similar conditions provide Pakistan, Iran, China, Turkey, Russia and Afghanistan wider opportunities to work in unison for the development and prosperity of their people.
He said the roads and railway lines of China Pakistan Economic Corridor are linking the region with the whole world through Pakistan.
The President said Pakistan has extended sincere and unconditional co-operation for peace and stability in Afghanistan believing that stability in the region is linked with the stability in Afghanistan.
He said the breach of people’s right to self-determination and fundamental rights created a number of problems and the Kashmir dispute is a glaring example.
Mamnoon Hussain said Kashmir issue has endangered the peace of the sub-continent and it is necessary that the standing issue be instantly resolved with the help of people of occupied Jammu and Kashmir and in the light of resolutions of the United Nations.
Earlier, addressing the Conference, Speaker of the National Assembly Sardar Ayaz Sadiq proposed negotiated peaceful settlement of all outstanding disputes through parliamentary diplomacy.
He said Pakistan has suffered a loss of over 119 billion dollars to its economy since 9/11 due to cowardly acts of terrorism.
Ayaz Sadiq termed the conference as a historic occasion and noted that the parliamentary heads of these nations have gathered in Islamabad for the first time to reaffirm their commitment to shared peace and prosperity and forge new grounds of mutual cooperation.
He proposed that the Speakers' Conference should be made an annual feature and National Assembly of Pakistan can act as its Secretariat till a permanent secretariat is established.
He also proposed that the committees concerned on security, commerce and trade in the respective parliaments should meet periodically to ensure a regular follow-up of deliberations.
In his key-note address, Chairman Senate, Mian Raza Rabbani said a new nexus among the United States, Israel and India has emerged. He said the United States is trying to promote India as policeman of the region.
The first Speakers' Conference has reaffirmed that terrorism cannot and should not be associated with any religion, nationality, civilization, culture and ethnic group and called for full and effective implementation of the relevant United Nations Security Council resolution and global counter terrorism strategy.
The declaration issued at the conclusion of the Speakers Conference in Islamabad on Sunday recognized terrorism as a common threat to the entire world and condemned the phenomena in all its forms and manifestations.
The participants recommended that their governments shall take further strong measures in practical steps through devising joint concrete and comprehensive strategies to combat terrorism.
The participants expressed willingness to help promote dialogue, trust and confidence with the view to address the common challenges of terrorism in unified coordinated and comprehensive manner.
The declaration encouraged greater engagement and cooperation in people to people connectivity initiatives relating to education, human resources development, cultural exchanges and tourism.
The participants recognized that enhancing intra-regional connectivity would benefit all participating countries through enhanced trade, investment, infrastructure, tourism, people to people linkage and cultural exchanges.
The participants agreed that for ensuring global and regional peace and stability, the issue of Jammu and Kashmir needs peaceful resolution by Pakistan and India in accordance with UN Security Council resolutions.
The members condemned act of terrorism targeted towards the parliaments and expressed solidarity with the victims as well as the governments and people of the countries attacked. They expressed resolve the stand by the Turkey in bringing to justice the perpetrators of July 15 terrorist coup attempt and other crimes.
The participants condemned any decisions and actions which purported to have altered the character, the status or the demographic composition of Holy City of Al-Quds have no legal effect, are null and void and must be rescinded in compliance with the relevant UN resolutions.