With necessary political will, Asia can create a great paradigm shift in the world and that the issue of Palestine is going to on top of the agenda of 7th plenary of Asian Parliamentary Assembly (APA), said Senate Chairman Syed Nayyer Hussain Bokhari while addressing the inaugural session in his capacity as the APA president and formally declared the 7th Annual Plenary Session of the assembly open.
Bokhari said that Asian parliaments and consequently Asian people have commonly cherished ideals of development, stability and prosperity and with the creation of an Asian Parliament, Asians would be able to move towards the application of their goals.
Bokhari after being elected as the president of APA last year, is very committed towards using this platform for regional cooperation and enhancing regional integration.
“I am confident that the commitments we make here will usher in a new era of prosperity, peace and sustainable development for our people,” he said.
He termed raging regional conflicts a matter of great concern and an impediment to Asia’s way forward.
“Violence and unrest in Kashmir, Iraq, Syria and Palestine stand as a poignant testament of enduring prejudices, polarisations, intolerance, enmity and hatred rooted in religious-ethnic discrimination and extremism,” he said.
APA Assistant Secretary General Dr Masood Islami, who is attending the conference on behalf of APA secretary general, termed the theme of the conference “Quest for an Asian Parliament in the Asian Century” really meaningful and hoped that by the end of this event the APA and the respective parliaments would have achieved much.
Organising Committee Chairman and APA Executive Council Chairman Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed assured the member delegates that whatever is decided regarding Asian Parliament, will be with cooperation, coordination and connectivity.
“In this historically, culturally and politically important city, we will witness our vision being matched with action,” he said, adding that Asian Parliament will become the institutional voice of the Asian people and Asia will then decide its destiny and future itself.
Leader of the House in Senate and leader of the Pakistani delegation in APA Raja Zafarul Haq said that the world cannot ignore the fastest growing continent which has more than 4.4 billion people which constitute almost 60% of the world’s population. Stating the challenges, the Asian countries face today, Haq said that they must be met through cooperation to make integration work. “Combating the rising wave of terrorism and extremism, conserving environment, safeguarding human rights and meeting gaping energy deficit are some of the challenges,” he said.
Azerbaijan, who was an observer state of APA, was given membership of the assembly later in the day for its commitment and interest in its working.