M A I N   N E W S

5th Conference of the SAARC Speakers & Parliamentarians 
Pak obliquely rakes up Kashmir issue
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 10
In a clear attempt to indirectly raise the Kashmir issue at an international forum, Pakistan today said a Parliament, oblivious to the plight of its people, cannot claim to be the sole voice of its electorate.

“A strong Parliament being the very foundation of the entire framework of a consolidated democracy can command trust and confidence of its people by addressing their grievances in accordance with their aspirations,” said Fehmida Mirza, Speaker of the National Assembly of Pakistan, in her keynote address at the fifth Conference of the SAARC Speakers and Parliamentarians here.

Talking about the challenges before the SAARC Parliamentarians, Mirza observed that the region was confronted with common issues of poverty, malnourishment, illiteracy and disease. She expressed the hope that these issues could be solved if the respective Parliaments joined hands for a meaningful cooperation through experience sharing, joint resource mobilisation and strong networking.

In order to bring an end to the miseries of the people, she urged the fellow Parliamentarians to join hands together to build peace, ignite prosperity and consolidate democracy by strengthening trust between the people and the Parliament.

Mirza also proposed that the “SAARC Speakers and Parliamentarian Association” graduate to the next level eventually, where the idea of a “South Asian Parliament” becomes a reality. She envisioned a forum that infused a new life into SAARC, exactly in the same manner as the European Parliament remained a driving force behind the European Union.

It was in this spirit that Pakistan recently agreed to accord the “most favoured nation” status to India, by replacing a “positive trade list” to a “negative trade list”. This vital decision would open new vistas of enhanced commerce and trade in the entire South Asia, she hoped.





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