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Fehmida Mirza calls for fostering Indo-Pak relations

New Delhi , Thu, 07 Jul 2011 ANI

New Delhi, July 7 (ANI): Pakistan's National Assembly Speaker, Fehmida Mirza, on Thursday said that there was need for the parliamentarians to go beyond state level dialogue and ensure that the people of both the nations develop close relations. "Last year when we were here for the CPA meeting, I raised it with Meira and I requested her to form friendship groups in their parliament and today we have friendship group in Pakistan and India both. The whole idea behind it was through these friendship groups, we have more parliamentary exchanges," said Mirza, who arrived here on Thursday to hold talks with Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar.


"It is very important that we should take it beyond state level to the level of people to people contact, which is through parliamentarians. I am very hopeful," she added. Mirza, the first woman speaker in the Islamic republic, will be leading the six-member delegation that would participate in the fifth summit conference of the Association of SAARC Speakers and Parliamentarians.


The Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh. would inaugurate the four-day conference. "This is happening after a span of several years and I am extremely happy that such a nice initiative has been taken and a conference has been organized by Meira. The talks, which were dormant for quite sometime, need to be activated. We have come focusing on that and god willing all speakers will come," said Mirza. "We will deal with all issues related to South Asia, the challenges that confront us. We would discuss and deliberate on those issues and in the end the declaration that we reach upon, shall be presented before the media," she added. Three women MPs have accompanied Mirza including Tasneem Siddiqui, Shahnaz Wazir Ali, Kashmala Tariq along with Mahmood Hyat Khan, Tariq Shabbir and Karamat Niyazi.


The themes chosen for discussions at the conference include Consolidating Democracy, Strengthening trust between Parliament and People, and Sustainable Development in SAARC Countries - The Way Forward.


Meira Kumar set up a reception committee for the conference, with Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman K. Rahman Khan, as its chairman and Deputy Speaker Karia Munda as the co-chairman.


The committee comprises 38 members, including Minister of Parliamentary Affairs Pawan Kumar Bansal, besides sitting and former members of the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha.


The talks between the foreign ministers of both India and Pakistan will be held in New Delhi later this month. (ANI)


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