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Pakistan not to participate in Inter-Parliamentary Union Assembly in Bangladesh

31 March, 2017

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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Thursday decided not to participate in the 136th Inter-Parliamentary Union Assembly due to begin from April 1, 2017 in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

A 10-member parliamentary delegation from Pakistan was due to participate in the international parliamentary moot under the leadership of National Assembly Speaker Ayaz Sadiq. The decision has been taken in view of the continued malicious and uncalled for propaganda and unfriendly attitude of the Bangladesh government against the people and the State of Pakistan.

In a statement, Speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq said, "The members of the National Assembly and I have noted with dismay and disappointment the continuing actions and negative public statements of the leadership, public officials and media of Bangladesh despite Pakistan's restraint and overtures to the country. I have, therefore, decided not to travel to Bangladesh as a visit at this point will not serve the purpose."

The speaker recalled that the parliament of Pakistan had most sincerely laboured to harness good friendly and brotherly relations with the parliament and people of Bangladesh. It was in this spirit that Pakistan's parliamentary delegation had unanimously voted in favour of Speaker of Bangladesh Dr Sharmeen Chaudhary for the post of the chairperson of the executive committee of Commonwealth Parliamentary Association in Cameroon in 2014. Dr Chaudhary had won this election with a narrow margin of 82 votes in favour and 78 against with 10 votes of Pakistan going in her favour.

"However, it is noted with much regret that the friendly gestures were never reciprocated in the same coin. The speaker of Bangladesh did not visit Pakistan despite repeated invitations. The parliament of Bangladesh also boycotted all international parliamentary moots, organised by the parliament of Pakistan during the last two years despite personal requests by the highest parliamentary leadership to the speaker of Bangladesh. This includes the SAARC Young Parliamentarians Conference in August 2016, the International Women Parliamentarians Conference 2017 and the Asian Parliamentary Assembly in 2017," the statement said.

The speaker recalled his meeting with the high commissioner of Bangladesh earlier this month in which he had again conveyed his best wishes to his counterpart and had urged for working together to develop brotherly relations. "All such dedicated efforts, unfortunately, fell in vein and Pakistan was time and again targeted and maligned. Such hostile environment would not promote the interest of any side. It was, therefore decided, with a heavy heart, not to undertake a visit to Bangladesh at this time," the speaker said.

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