Original Articles

India, Pakistan to exchange parliamentary delegations



We at LUBP support liberal visa regime between India and Pakistan . We support Speaker of the House, Dr. Fehmida Mirza, PPP, on her progressive pro-peace statements :

“Pakistan and India not only shared boundaries but were intertwined in bonds of culture, history and heritage.” Fehmida Mirza 

With Thanks : South Asian Media 

India, Pakistan to exchange parliamentary delegations

Pakistan’s National Assembly Speaker Dr Fehmida Mirza, and Indian Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar agree to enhance interaction between the parliamentarians of Pakistan and India to build bridges of understanding and friendship between the two countries.

Pakistan’s National Assembly Speaker Dr Fehmida Mirza and Indian Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar agree to enhance interaction between the parliamentarians of Pakistan and India to build bridges of understanding and friendship between the two neighbouring countries.

Both the speakers also agreed that dialogue was the only way forward to address contentious issues between India and Pakistan.

Meira Kumar and her parliamentary delegation, consisting of members of the Rajya Sabha and the Lok Sabha, met Dr Fehmida Mirza at the Parliament House on Tuesday. National Assembly Deputy Speaker Faisal Karim Kundi and members of the Pak-India friendship group were also present on the occasion.

Talking to the her Indian counterpart, Dr Fehmida Mirza said Pakistan and India not only shared boundaries but were intertwined in bonds of culture, history and heritage.

She said both the countries shared common problems, therefore, “a common strategy needs to be forged to address those problems”. She said that regular interaction between the parliamentarians of both the countries was the only way forward for solidifying bilateral relations. She said Pakistan had been a victim of terrorism, adding that terrorism was posing a threat to the entire region. She called for a joint strategy by the neighbouring countries to counter the menace.

Referring to the economic and commercial ties between Pakistan and India, Dr Fehmida Mirza said that immense economical potential existed in both the countries, which “needs to be exploited for mutual benefits”. She said that grant of the most-favoured-nation (MFN) status to India would further boost commercial activities between the two countries.

She also suggested for exploring possibilities of cooperation amongst the Indian and Pakistani institutes of parliamentary services for capacity building of parliamentarians and parliamentary staff.

Meira Kumar, reciprocating to the remarks of her Pakistani counterpart, said that it was indeed a pleasure to visit Pakistan and she had brought with her a message of goodwill, friendship, peace and prosperity for the people of Pakistan. She said that the relationship between both the countries was not confined to politics and trade alone; rather “these are based on emotional and cultural grounds”. She agreed that regular interaction between parliamentarians and people of both the countries would remove misperception against each other and create better understanding.

She said that the people of India wished to see cordial relations between the two countries.

She said that all the contentious issues needed to be resolved through dialogue. She also invited Dr Fehmida Mirza to visit India along with a parliamentary delegation.

Earlier, the National Assembly speaker and deputy speaker received the delegates. The delegation also visited the National Assembly Hall and signed the visitor’s book.

The Indian speaker is in Pakistan on a five-day state visit along with seven members of her parliament. The visit is the first-ever official visit by an Indian speaker in years. The delegation was received at the airport by the special assistant to the prime minister, Shahnaz Wazir Ali, Indian High Commissioner to Pakistan Sharat Sabharwal, National Assembly Secretary Karamat Hussain Niazi and other senior officials of the National Assembly.

The visit is aimed at forging better ties and future cooperation between the two parliaments. It also carries a special significance for both Pakistan and India, who currently have women speakers in their parliament’s lower house.

Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar floored an audience that included her Pakistani counterpart, senior ministers and parliamentarians by delivering a speech in flawless Urdu laced with couplets from Firaq Gorkhpuri, Majrooh Sultanpuri and Faiz Ahmed Faiz.

At a dinner hosted by Fehmida Mirza, the Speaker of Pakistan’s National Assembly or lower house of parliament, Kumar was repeatedly applauded by the gathering as she interspersed her speech with Urdu couplets.

Kumar praised the natural beauty of Pakistan and said: “Your matchless hospitality is famous in India. But after coming here, I have found that the hospitality, in reality, is even greater”.

The parliaments of both countries, she said, have an important role to play in fostering better relations between the people.

The foundation of relations between India and Pakistan is based on common culture and links, including a shared love for music, films and sports, Kumar said. Indian film stars are loved in Pakistan, while Pakistani musicians and singers have huge followings in India, she added.

Referring to the passion for cricket in both countries, Kumar said more exchanges in all fields would help send a message of peace to the people.

“It is necessary for us to move towards the goal of friendship with greater speed,” she said before concluding her speech with a couplet from Majrooh Sultanpuri.

In contrast, Mirza largely spoke in English and noted that the lower houses of parliament in Pakistan and India had women Speakers for the first time. Noting that this was a tribute to the women of the subcontinent, she said: “Women don’t make wars, women make peace. Women don’t take lives, women give lives”.

 

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Humza Ikram

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