The Speaker National Assembly of Pakistan Asad Qaiser has said that Pakistan, Afghanistan, China, Iran, Russia and Turkey spanning the stretch of the Asian Continent comprise its heart and soul. Rich energy, human and natural resources; bridging important regions by our locations or sheer size; and our individual strong cultural and linguistic heritage are tremendous assets that we can put together for our collective benefit, he added. As such our countries remain central to the global developments on political, socio-economic, security and many other fronts, Asad Qaiser said.
According to a message received from Tehran, the Speaker National Assembly was speaking at inaugural ceremony of the Second Speakers’ conference in his capacity as President of the Speakers’ conference in Tehran, Iran. He said that Pakistan had the honor of hosting the Heads of our respective Assemblies in Islamabad in December 2017 to launch this important forum. Pakistan has floated the idea of having the forum of the Speakers’ conference, he added. “A year later, the Second Speakers’ Conference in Tehran provides us another opportunity to continue the useful exchange of views on key challenges like terrorism that we all have to confront and to evolve a coordinated approach in exploiting the immense untapped potential and economic opportunities in our region” the Speaker said.
The President of the Islamic Republic of Iran Dr. Hassan Rouhani attended the inaugural ceremony of the second Speakers’ conference as Chief Guest. The Chairman State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation Mr. Vyacheslav Voldon, Speaker of the Grand National Assembly Turkey Mr. Binali Yildrim, Speaker of the Wolesi Jirga of Afghanistan Mr. Abdul Rauf Ibrahimi, Mr. Chen Zhu, Vice Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress of China also attended the event.
The Speaker also said that the in Pakistan, through some of the largest counter terrorism operations conducted anywhere in the world, we have turned the tide against terrorism. “The military operations, Zarb-e-Azab and Radd-ul-Fasad have been great success. Through unmatched efforts of our Law Enforcement Agencies, we have been able to clear our territory from terrorists” he said. Asad Qaiser said that the terrorist attacks and incidents of mass violence have registered a marked decline. The success of our efforts, compared to other counter terrorism efforts, despite our limited resources, is being widely recognized, he remarked.
He further said that the location of our region has great strategic significance. However, despite enormous potential, connectivity in our region has remained low. “Unfortunately, deteriorating security situation and regional disputes have obstructed regional integration and economic prosperity. Pakistan has been strong proponent of regional connectivity and has constructively participated in all regional connectivity initiatives”, the Speaker added. He said that we are signatories to both Asian Highway and Asian Railway Network Agreements. Let us use this platform of Parliaments of the member countries to commit ourselves to working together towards a brighter and a more secure future for our region and beyond, he said.
While concluding his speech, Speaker National Assembly transferred the Presidency of the Speakers’ conference to Dr. Ali Ardeshir Larijani, Speaker of the Islamic Parliament of Iran as per agreed charter of the Speakers’ conference. He also prayed that Dr. Larijani will play proactive role in further strengthening the forum. He also ensured the all-out support of the National Assembly of Pakistan in capacity as the permanent secretariat of the conference.