Islamabad (3rd November, 2021):- A 10-member European Parliament’s South Asia Delegation to Pakistan headed by Mr. Nicola Procaccini, Member of the Committee on Civil Liberties called on the Deputy Chairman Senate Mirza Muhammad Afridi here at the Parliament House on Wednesday
Institutional cooperation between Pakistan and EU, frequent exchange of delegations and further enhancing trade and economic ties were discussed in the meeting. The Deputy Chairman Senate welcomed the EU delegation to the Parliament House and emphasized the role of Parliamentary exchanges in reinforcing bilateral relations and opening new vistas of cooperation. Mirza Afridi thanked the European Union for its support to the Prime Minister’s initiative of Debt Relief for the developing countries. He said that we strongly believe that a coordinated approach is the only way to counter the Covid-19 Pandemic.
Mirza Afridi while mentioning that the European Union being the largest trade and investment partners of Pakistan said that the GSP plus has played an important role in expansion of trade. He said that the volume of Pakistan –EU trade in financial year 2020 was Euro 9.3 Billion, with Pakistan’s exports amounting to Euro 5.5 billion and imports of Euro 3.8 billion
The Deputy Chairman Senate emphasized on the steps need to be taken to further enhance trade and economic cooperation and said that there are vast opportunities for investment in Pakistan.
Mirza Afridi said that Pakistan considers peace and development important for the rapidly changing situation in the region. He further said that promoting peace is essential for socio-economic development. He said that Prime Minister Imran Khan, in 2018 had offered that if India takes one step forward for peace, Pakistan will take two. He also said that India’s illegal and unilateral actions of August 5, 2019 in IIOJK were a huge setback to our efforts of regional peace. He emphasized that India must revisit its actions of August 5, 2019 and should not seek to effect demographic change in the disputed territory.
Mirza Afridi said that Pakistan has always been a strong voice for women empowerment, gender equality and promotion and protection of women rights. He said that in Pakistan women are actively involved in all spheres of life including politics, civil service, military and entrepreneurship with 10pc quota been fixed in civil service for women and 33pc women quota in Senate, National and Provincial Assemblies in addition to regular seats.
Mirza Afridi said that amidst the Covid19 crises the Parliament of Pakistan was successful in making active legislation with special focus on laws related to women and children rights that in Particular includes, Women’s Property Rights (Amendment) Bill, ICT Domestic Labor Law, ICT Senior Citizen Bill and Zainab Alert Bill which are a few examples of legislation by the Parliament for the protection of Human Rights and Women Empowerment.
During the meeting both sides termed mutual cooperation between Pakistan and European Union as useful and called for further promotion of trade and economic cooperation in various spheres of life. It was observed that new opportunities can be created through mutual cooperation in different fields. The delegation appreciated the effective coordination between the parliaments of Pakistan and the European Union and expressed the hope that the relations would be further strengthened with the passage of time.