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A three-member Indian delegation of MPs on Tuesday attended a regional conference hosted by Pakistan with a top lawmaker asking the Asian countries to “bury the hatchet” and move forward for the collective good. The Asian Parliamentary Assembly (APA) conference held in Murree is being attended by Shashi Tharoor, Meenakshi Lekhi and Swapan Dasgupta.
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The Indian lawmakers’ visit comes at a time when bilateral contacts and exchange of visits have stalled after the Uri terror attack and India boycotting the SAARC Summit hosted by Pakistan. Their presence in Pakistan comes ahead of the meeting of Indus water commissioners who are expected to attend a meeting in Lahore on March 19-20.
The conference, attended by 23 Asian countries and scheduled to conclude on March 17, is being held to discuss closer cooperation and creation of Asian Parliament on the pattern of European Union. “We should learn to bury the hatchet and move forward for the collective good,” Chairman Senate, upper house of Pakistan’s parliament, Raza Rabbani said while addressing the conference.
He urged Asian nations to work together to address and realise common challenges and aspirations. Rabbani said the special committee on creation of Asian Parliament would make a positive beginning towards the cherished objective, Radio Pakistan reported. He urged the Asian nations to work together to address and realise common challenges and aspirations.
Rabbani said Asian nations were suffering from issues like poverty, terrorism, under-nourishment and exploitation of their natural resources. He said the countries’ parliaments would fail themselves if they fail to rise to the occasion. Speaker National Assembly, lower house of parliament, Sardar Ayaz Sadiq in his address emphasised the need for working together for achieving the desired goal of regional peace, development and prosperity.
He said APA member states should intervene for peaceful solution of all outstanding disputes in accordance with the UN resolution and as per aspirations of the people. “We must work together for confronting shared challenges of terrorism, extremism, poverty and climate change,” he said. Noting that Pakistan is a strong advocate of regional integration and connectivity, Sadiq said the country was committed to peace and prosperity in the region and the world. He also said the CPEC will not only benefit China and Pakistan but will have positive impact on Iran, Afghanistan, India, Central Asia and the entire region.