Asian Parliamentary Assembly Political Affairs Committee meeting kicks off in Gawadar,
Gawadar to become sea, land route for countries providing opportunities for growth & prosperity: SANJRANI
PAKISTAN BELIEVES IN PEACEFUL SETTLEMENT OF LONGSTANDING DISPUTES, DESIRES FRIENDLY TIES WITH ALL, NEIGHBOURS
GOVERNOR BALOCHISTAN, LEADER OF THE HOUSE, IPU HEAD, APA SECRETARY GENERAL , SECRETARY SENATE AND OTHERS ADDRESS THE SESSION.
Acting President Muhammad Sadiq Sanjrani, while addressing the inaugural session of the Asian Parliamentary Assembly Standing Committee on Political Affairs in Gawadar, the future’s economic hub and port city of Pakistan, said that Gawadar is soon going to become an important sea and land route which would provide different countries opportunities for growth and prosperity. He was the chief guest at the opening session of the Asian Parliamentary Assembly Standing Committee of Political Affairs and Special Committee on creation of Asian Parliament in Gawadar on Monday.
He said that APA meeting has been arranged in Gwadar, an important port city located at the cross junction of international shipping and oil trade routes. He said that our aim is to further development of Gwadar as a hub of economic prosperity and regional connectivity.
He remarked that APA has been making tremendous progress in forging regional partnerships towards achieving the shared ideals of peace, democracy, stability and development. He said that Pakistan wants friendly relations with all, especially the neighbours. Referring to the theme “Parliamentary Leadership in Promoting Peace and Development”, Sadiq Sanjrani said that APA Member states are facing somewhat common challenges. He cautioned that extremism carry much wider implications for the whole region.
“Pakistan being the frontline state in the global war on terror has rendered great sacrifices for both domestic and global peace and stability” Acting President said. He reiterated that people, parliament and armed forces stand united and resolute in defeating terror. Sanjrani said that Pakistan believes in peaceful settlement of longstanding disputes which is vital towards regional development with mutually beneficial outcomes. He welcomed the leaders, legislators and public representatives from across the Asian content at the Meeting of Special Committee on Creation of Asian Parliament and APA Standing Committee on Political Affairs.
He observed that with a 60 per cent population comprising youth, large and growing middle class and a consumer market that is over 200 million strong, Pakistan will soon be a bridge connecting markets in the Middle East, Africa and Europe with convincing reduction in cost and time. He said that Balochistan is rich in natural resources and has the potential to play effective role in the socio-economic development. He said that priority is being accorded to alleviate the miseries by boosting trade and economic activities in the province and bring the people of the area into the mainstream of national development. He said that despite its immense wealth of minerals resources and economic potential to change the destiny of not just Pakistan but the whole region, has struggled in terms of development in past. He expressed his satisfaction that that this session in Gwadar would help in eliminating the misconceptions about this area. He also thanked the provincial governments of Sindh and Balochistan, Chief Minister, Chief Secretary of Balochistan besides Pakistan, Navy and Air force for providing their unconditional support and cooperation to the Senate Secretariat. He appreciated Secretary Senate and the Senate Secretariat for excellent arrangements and by assembling the Asian gathering of parliamentarians in Gwadar, Senate has really played its role as the “House of Federation”.
Leader of the House Senate Senator Shibli Faraz said that Balochistan and Gwadar are on our top priority due to the fact that socio-economic and infrastructural development has a direct and positive bearing on the prosperity of not just Pakistan but the whole region. He said that cooperation holds key to fulfilling expectations and aspirations that people of Asia associate with parliamentary democracy.
Senator Mushaidullah on behalf of Leader of the opposition in the Senate Raja Muhammad Zafar ul Haq said that Gwadar is surely turning into a gateway to prosperity in the region, and our gathering here only complements our future aspirations of regional integration, and particular inclusivity of developing regions. He expressed his confidence that discussions will help evolve suitable ideas and proposals towards a more realistic and conducive course of action.
Federal Minister for Science and Technology Senator Azam Swati said that Pakistan is diverse country with people speaking dozens of languages in every region. The diversity is our strength, he remarked. He also highlighted the importance of CPEC and said that the initiative is the blood of our economic prosperity and it will bring peace and happiness in the region. He said that by hosting such international event in Gawadar we are inching towards making Asian Parliament a reality.
Governor Balochistan Justice (R) Amanullah Khan Yasinzai, expressed the hope that port city will play a critical role in the APA’s pursuit of Asian prosperity in the future. He said that the grand intra-continental meeting in a developing port city of Gwadar grants immense significance to the all-inclusive development agenda. Governor Balochistan thanked the Chairman for giving Balochistan the opportunity to host leaders from all over Asia. He said that Gawadar will help bring global markets and business at the door step of Asian countries and would contribute towards promotion of peace and development in the region.
Secretary General Inter Parliamentary Union thanked Senate Secretariat for hospitality in the beautiful city of Gawadar. He said APA is amplifying the message of peace and stability which the IPU is promoting at global level. He said that participation in this meeting would help develop understanding to better develop institutional linkages and work together for promoting global peace and security. He endorsed the views of the Secretary Senate that parliaments need to come out of comfort zones and play more effective role in resolving issues.
Secretary Senate Amjed Pervez Malik in his welcome remarks said that presence of such a large number of delegates from different Asian regions, IPU and others have added meaning and purpose to our endeavours in the meetings at the port city of Gwadar. He said that the elected and administrative leadership of Senate had three-pronged objectives behind organizing this APA event here in this important port city of Gwadar.
Firstly, Amjed Pervez Malik said, to establish and enhance linkages between House of Federation and its federating unit to facilitate governmental efforts of unleashing huge untapped potential of Balochistan and Gwadar. Secondly, to bring the emerging economic hub and trade route into national and international limelight. And, thirdly, to afford an opportunity to Asia and other Region’s friends and partners to witness first-hand the huge investment and trade potential that Gwadar offers to not only the region but much beyond.
“With this APA event being held in Gwadar, Pakistan Senate has taken the first stride towards adding a new dimension of facilitating regional and local development by showcasing to the world the peaceful ground situation as well as huge untapped potential of Gwadar”, Secretary Senate remarked. He said that great Asian continent regaining its lost glory. The 21st Century, Amjed Pervez said, is again witnessing the rise of the Asian continent in international affairs.
He expressed his sincere appreciation to Sadiq Sanjrani, for taking the out of box challenging decision and moving such an important international gathering out of comfort zone of capital cities. He said that holding these meetings in the port city of Gwadar posed quite a few challenges but it contributed to the concept of regional inclusivity and connectivity as per APA’s charter. “It is a big leap forward in Senate’s reaching out to a federating unit as the House of Federation” Secretary Senate said.
Head of France –Pakistan Parliamentary Friendship Group Pascal Alizard said that bilateral relationship between Pakistan Pakistan and France is important for the group. He said that Gawadar is not just a project but a real work in progress for economic development. APA Secretary General Mohammad Reza Majidi said that the APA has become a source of aspiration for peace in the region. He said that Parliamentary diplomacy has become an increasingly important function in international affairs. He said tha APA provides an important platform to deliberate upon a range of issues. Representative of APA President , Asma Erdogan said that Gawadar is an important place and has promising potential for economic progress and regional integration. Participants of the conference, political leadership and others praised the excellent work done by the Senate in making this conference a success.