Islamabad, March 14 (IANS) Representatives of 23 countries, including three MPs from India, are participating in a key session of the Asian Parliamentary Assembly (APA) that began in the Pakistani capital on Tuesday.
Indian parliamentarians Shashi Tharoor, Meenakshi Lekhi and Swapan Dasgupta are participating in the four-day conference.
Tharoor tweeted a photograph of the three MPs attending the conference: “The Indian parliamentary delegation at the #AsianParliamentaryAssembly Political Affairs Committee meeting in Islamabad @M_Lekhi @swapan55.”
The session, scheduled to last till March 17, was formally inaugurated by Pakistan Senate Chairman Mian Raza Rabbani and Speaker National Assembly Sardar Ayaz Sadiq.
More than 70 delegates from 23 countries, including members of parliament and speakers, participated on the inaugural day of the meeting being hosted by the Senate.
The session has various agendas listed, including establishment of an Asian Parliament, Geo News reported.
Addressing the session, Ayaz Sadiq stressed the need for working together for achieving the desired goal of regional peace, development and prosperity.
He said APA member states should intervene for peaceful solution of all outstanding disputes in accordance with UN resolution and as per aspirations of the people.
“We must work together for confronting shared challenges of terrorism, extremism, poverty and climate change,” he added.
Raza Rabbani expressed confidence that the special committee on creation of an Asian Parliament would make a positive beginning towards the cherished objective.
He said it would be unrealistic to expect a blueprint of the Asian Parliament at the conclusion of the session “but we should move towards narrowing our differences”.
The Asian Parliamentary Assembly dates back to September 1999 when a group of Asian Parliamentarians decided to join hands for promoting peace and human rights in Dhaka, Bangladesh, by setting up the Association of Asian Parliaments for Peace (AAPP), which was later converted to APA in 2004.