Gawadar/Acting President Muhammad Sadiq Sanjrani has underscored the need for solid and practical steps to materialize the dream of creation of an Asian Parliament. He said that we need to move forward by introducing a visa free regime for Asian. The Acting President, on the sidelines of Asian Parliamentary Assembly Standing Committee on Political Affairs and Special Committee on Creation of Asian Parliament, held meetings with parliamentary delegation of Turkey, Bahrain, East Timor, France, Iran, Inter-parliamentary Union and APA Secretary General and others.
In his meeting with Senator Pascal Alizard Head of France- Pakistan Friendship Group, Acting President said that Pakistan Senate has also formed a friendship group and the groups would play an effective role in the promotion of bilateral ties. He said that delay in the master plan slowed down the pace of development in Gawadar. However, the plan would be finalized in December this year thus paving way for accelerated progress. The French delegate said that Gawadar offers huge opportunities of investment. Acting President said that foreign investors can take benefit of the huge investment potential in the area.
Secretary General of the IPU Martin Chung Gong also held meeting with Acting President. Sadiq Sanjrani while welcoming the IPU Secretary General, said that excellent cooperation exists between IPU and the Parliament of Pakistan. He praised the technical cooperation between the Pakistan and IPU in parliamentary sectors. Sanjrani said that Pakistan desires not only to expand socio-economic ties with Asian countries but would also propose for a visa free regime. He informed that Pakistan is also planning to host Asian speakers’ conference which would provide an opportunity to share thoughts and exchanges views. IPU Secretary General termed it a wise decision to organize and host APA committee meetings in Gawadar which helped in showcasing Gawadar properly before the world. He said that parliaments have a crucial role in pushing forward the development agenda.
While talikg to the APA Secretary General Muhammad Reza Majidi, the Acting President emphasized the need for more close collaboration between the Pakistan Iran and said that the Asian countries need to prioritize development and economic cooperation. APA Secretary General said that the creation of Asian Parliament was proposed by Pakistan and Pakistan has huge importance in the region. The Acting President said that there is need to move beyond resolutions now and all countries need to play a vibrant and robust role in this regard. Secretary General APA also endorsed the views of Secretary General to chalk out a concrete roadmap in this regard. He proposed that a think tank comprising of experts can play a significant role to this end.
While talking to the parliamentary delegation of Turkey, Sadiq Sanjrani said that Pakistan and Turkey have played active role on the platform of APA and there is need to further boost this cooperation. He called upon Turkish investors to invest in different sectors in Gawadar. Turkish delegation also invited Chairman Senate to visit Turkey. In his meeting with Iran’s parliamentary delegation, the Acting President said that Pakistan and Iran are intertwined in historical and cultural relations and the bond of friendship between the two has cultural and religious similarities He said that both the countries share 920 km long border. He said that there is huge potential to play more significant role on the forum of APA. The Acting President said that Pakistan desires to further consolidate relationship with Iran. Pakistan –Iran Frienship Group in the Senate is playing a vibrant role in promoting bilateral ties, the Acting President said. Chief Secretary Balochistan informed the delegates about the facilities being extended to pilgrims besides the security arrangements made for them.
In meeting with delegations from Nepal, Bahrain, Syria and East Timor, the Sadiq Sanjrani underscored the need for closer collaboration between parliaments and work on developing people to people linkages.
Asian Parliamentary Assembly Standing Committee on Political Affairs adopts ‘Gwadar Statement’, declares synergising of efforts and resources essential for regional peace, development & prosperity
Gwadar Statement, as adopted by the Asian Parliamentary Assembly Committee on Political Affairs declares that while all countries in the Asian region have their national priorities and goals, we must continue to take our cooperation forward, synergise our resources and efforts, and support each other for the collective sustainable development of Asia.
The Gwadar Statement termed it critical to highlight that while our Asian vision is focused on trade, economic and energy markets, it also carries a much-needed heed to help adapt to climate change and preserve the environment. To mark this historic gathering, the distinguished delegates also lent a hand in Pakistan’s national drive towards tree plantation campaign. It recognized that through bilateral as well as multilateral synergised efforts, we can check the challenges of climate change and give a better future to our coming generations.
Acting President of Pakistan, Chairman Senate Muhammad Sadiq Sanjrani during his concluding remarks expressed his gratitude that the statement made by the Pakistan delegation (which was adopted by this august gathering) not only recorded the highest ever participation in the APA Committee meetings, but also encompassed all the achievements made by the event. Acting President said that we must, under the umbrella of the APA, accord top priority to highlight and address issues of human rights violations, as they not only negate democracy, but also stand as a hurdle to peace, prosperity and inclusive development.
Meeting of the Standing Committee on Political Affairs passed the Resolution titled, ‘Towards an Asian Parliament’ in the form passed by the APA Plenary held in 2017 and will now be open to any further amendments after the member Parliaments hold necessary discussions. The Resolution was proposed by Pakistan and was adopted as part of the Lahore Declaration on 3rd December, 2014 and hence had led to the having a Special Committee on Creation of Asian Parliament (SCCAP).
The meeting was chaired by Leader of the House in the Senate, Senator Syed Shibli Faraz in Gwadar on Tuesday. The Resolution on ‘Development Through Democracy’ tabled before the Committee by Pakistan was welcomed by the member countries and principally consented to the view adopted by Pakistan in the Resolution. The Resolution will now be considered again in the next meeting of Standing Committee on Political Affairs.
The Senate of Pakistan, through this resolution titled; “Development through Democracy’ endeavours to bring the countries of Asian region. The resolution stresses that regional disparities in economic development are amongst the leading causes of marginalization of efficacy and efficiency of democratic setups hence requiring affirmative actions to bring equitable and judicious development across the region. It emphasizes to improve regional connectivity and promote the development of global supply chains across Asia, which are critical for the economic integration of marginalized and poor segments of the society and Urge APA Members to generate an informed debate and share experiences at APA platform on the democratic process and development in their respective countries and promote greater cooperation for equitable economic development in Asia.
The Committee during the proceedings also approved the draft resolutions on good governance, role of law and judicial empowerment, good parliamentary practices, building prosperity in Asia through friendship and cooperation, Asian Parliaments and governments together for prosperity in Asia. Member countries underwent deliberations on amendments. The amendments proposed by countries who did not have presence in the meeting were not considered. The Committee also discussed in detail the draft resolution on Asian Parliaments’ unwavering support for the Palestinian people. Member countries gave their views on the amendments proposed by Palestine. The amendments were adopted and the resolution was approved to express support for the Palestinian people.
Senator Shibli Faraz, Leader of the House in senate of Pakistan and the Chairman for the SCCAP meeting, admired the commitment, participation and high level engagement of all delegates and the members states. He said that extensive deliberations and engagements over two days will provide a strong foundation to build upon in future APA meetings and realising an Asian Parliament.
He further said that all the resolutions and discussions touched common challenges that we all face in the Asian countries and they helped us build joint and agreeable actions. He said that parliamentary connectivity will be pivotal for an Asian quest for peace and development. He pronounced the SCCAP meeting be closed. He also read out the Gwadar Statement recognising that the participation in SCCAP meetings was highest in any APA standing committee meetings held to date.
Earlier in day, an exclusive presentation was arranged for the participants of the conference by Gawadar Development Authority (GDA). Secretary Senate Amjed said that Promoting regional inclusivity and socio-economic mainstreaming of peripheral areas of Federating Units is in the current and emerging functions of the Upper House. He said that interconnectivity and regional integration is a joint quest for both APA and Pakistan. In this regard, Gwadar carries an enormous significance in furthering our ‘shared prosperity’ agenda a potential economic, trade and energy hub in the region, that will open doors for inter and intra-regional trade among different continents. He observed that Asia has many landlocked countries for whom availability of viable shortest routes for international trade is of vital importance. “ Gwadar’s location to this end is ideal” he remarked . He said that Gawadar offers virgin areas and fields for investment ranging from construction to oil refineries and wide ranging seminars. He informed that the port is likely to open up new vistas of cooperation and development in the region by providing facilities such as warehousing, transshipment, transit, coastal trade, and commercial and industrial facilities for international export-import trade.Chairman Gwadar Development Authority Dostain Khan Jamaldini and Chairman Gwadar Port Authority Sajid Hussain Baloch gave briefings to the visiting delegates on the new port city of Gwadar and its potential as the future economic hub of the Asian region and beyond.