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Palestine remains high in the agenda of 7th APA

02 December, 2014

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LAHORE – Senate Chairman Syed Nayyer Hussain Bokhari has said that with necessary political will, Asia can create a great paradigm shift in the world and that the issue of Palestine remains high in the agenda of 7th plenary of Asian Parliamentary Assembly (APA).

He was addressing the inaugural session in his capacity as the president of APA and formally declared the 7th annual plenary session of the assembly open. It may be noted that the 7th plenary of APA is being held in Lahore from 1st to 3rd December. Bokhari said that Asian parliaments and consequently Asian people have commonly cherished ideals of development, stability and prosperity and with the creation of an Asian Parliament.

“We would be able to go beyond our expressions of desire and move towards their application,” he said. Bokhari after being elected as the president of APA last year is very committed towards using this platform for regional cooperation and enhancing regional integration. “I am confident that the commitments we make here will usher in a new era of prosperity, peace and sustainable development for our people”, he said.

The chairman termed raging regional conflicts a matter of great concern and an impediment to Asia’s forward march. “Violence and unrest in Kashmir, Iraq, Syria and Palestine stand as a poignant testament of enduring prejudices, polarisations, intolerance, enmity and hatred rooted in religious-ethnic discrimination and extremism”, he said.

APA Assistant Secretary General Dr Masood Islami who is attending the conference on behalf of the APA secretary general, while speaking to the plenary termed the theme of the conference ‘Quest for an Asian Parliament in the Asian Century’ really meaningful and hoped that by the end of this event the APA and the respective parliaments would have achieved much.

APA Organising Committee Chairman Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed also spoke at the inaugural session and assured the member delegates that whatever is decided regarding the Asian Parliament, will be with cooperation, coordination and connectivity. “In this historically, culturally and politically important city, we will witness our vision being matched with action”, he said.

He said that Asian Parliament would become the institutional voice of the Asian people and Asia will then decide its destiny and future itself. Raja Zafar-ulHaq who is Leader of the House in Senate and is also leading the Pakistani delegation in APA while speaking to the inaugural session, said that the world could not ignore the fastest growing continent which has more than 4.4 billion people which constitute almost 60% of world population.

Stating the challenges, the Asian countries face today, the leader of Pakistani delegation said that they must be met through cooperation to make integration work. “Combating the rising wave of terrorism and extremism, conserving environment, safeguarding human rights and meeting gaping energy deficit are some of the challenges”, he said. Azerbaijan, who was an observer state of APA, was given membership of the Assembly later in the day for its commitment and interest in its working.

About 130 delegates from 25 member countries and 8 observers are participating in the Assembly. A 25 members Pakistani delegation led by Raja Zafarul Haq comprises of Senators, members of the National and provincial assemblies.

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