Revo­lu­tion­iz­ing Par­lia­men­tary Di­plo­macy –Step to­wards Re­gional In­te­gra­tion

The Diplomatic Insight - - Editor's Note -

n this last week of De­cem­ber, Pak­istan has taken a gi­ant leap fur­ther in its for­mi­da­ble his­tory of Par­lia­men­tary Di­plo­macy by Conference of six im­por­tant re­gional play­ers wherein the distin­guished guests from Afghanistan, China, Rus­sia, Iran, Turkey in­clud­ing Speaker of Wolisi Jirga of the Is­lamic Re­pub­lic of Afghanistan, Speaker of the Shoora-e-Is­lamic of Is­lamic Re­pub­lic of Iran, Chair­man of the State Duma of the Fed­eral Assem­bly of the Rus­sian Fed­er­a­tion, Speaker of the Grand Turk­ish Assem­bly, Vice Chair­man of the Na­tional Peo­ple’s Congress of the Peo­ple’s Re­pub­lic of China, were present in Islamabad for two days Conference de­bat­ing on the sub­jects of mu­tual in­ter­ests in­clud­ing threats to ter­ror­ism, in­ter-re­gional con­nec­tiv­ity and shared co­op­er­a­tion in ar­eas of the­matic fo­cus of the moot. The Conference, or­gan­ised with the theme “the chal­lenges of ter­ror­ism and in­ter-re­gional con­nec­tiv­ity”, termed as a mile­stone in the op­tions to build the par­lia­men­tary co­op­er­a­tion to foster for­ward the con­sol­i­da­tion of the ex­ist­ing 20 per cent of the world’s rich­est re­sources in the entire re­gion. The conference was held in the back­drop of the cur­rent wave of ten­sion in the in­ter­na­tional world or­der, wherein the US has been widely crit­i­cized and side­lined for tak­ing a cal­lous stand­point ahead with plans for rec­og­niz­ing Jerusalem as the le­gal cap­i­tal of Is­rael and mov­ing its em­bassy to the city. There has been uproar from across the world de­nounc­ing the step con­sid­er­ing this as il­le­gal and against the wishes and as­pi­ra­tion of the Pales­tinian peo­ple hence grip­ping the entire Mid­dle East in the gulf of fur­ther duress and cri­sis. The fo­rum was also held in a time when Pak­istan’s re­la­tions with the US are at the low­est ever ebb con­se­quently the rep­re­sen­ta­tives from Pak­istan in­clud­ing the Speaker of the Na­tional As­sem­ble and Chair­man of the Se­nate minced no words in crit­i­ciz­ing the US ap­proach to­wards the re­gion and es­pe­cially Pak­istan. As Pak­istan is set­tling in the new ad­di­tion to the for­mi­da­ble and pow­er­ful re­gional group­ing of Shang­hai Co­op­er­a­tion Or­ga­ni­za­tion (SCO), the moot is an­other to­wards the right di­rec­tion by Pak­istan in build­ing syn­er­gies to­wards the re­gional play­ers to help build much needed space in the re­gion. This Speak­ers Conference is a brain­child of Speaker of Na­tional Assem­bly of Pak­istan Sar­dar Ayaz Sadiq who had en­vi­sioned and pro­posed such an im­por­tant joint Conference of heads of Par­lia­ment of Six coun­tries dur­ing his meet­ing with coun­ter­parts at the “2nd Meet­ing of the Eurasian Par­lia­ments Speak­ers” held in June this year in Seoul. The vi­sion of such joint meet­ing of the Speak­ers of the Par­lia­ment from Afghanistan, Rus­sia, China, Iran, Turkey and Pak­istan was to ex­plore the av­enues of co­op­er­a­tion in build­ing peace and to­geth­er­ness among the par­tic­i­pat­ing na­tions hence to de­velop a fo­rum for di­a­logue. The event was also meant not only to di­a­logue but also to build the con­nec­tiv­ity to con­sol­i­date peo­ple to peo­ple con­tacts aswell. The aim was also to ex­pand the hori­zon for co­op­er­a­tion in ar­eas in­clud­ing but not lim­ited to bank­ing, en­ergy, trade, tourism and com­merce, joint strat­egy against ter­ror­ism and other so­cioe­co­nomic chal­lenges. The ba­sic idea to pro­mote the mul­ti­lat­eral ties in var­i­ous di­men­sions through joint re­search, shar­ing of ideas and cre­at­ing an ac­tive fo­rum for busi­ness­men, academia and traders for build­ing peace, di­a­logue and sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment for the six

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