Lok Sabha Speakers visit to help bridge democratic ties: Fehmida Mirza
Posted on: Wed February 22, 2012
ISLAMABAD, Feb 21 (APP): Speaker National Assembly Dr Fehmida Mirza on Tuesday expressed the hope that Indian Lok Sabha Speaker, Meira Kumar"s ongoing visit to Pakistan would help bridge a democratic relationship of trust and confidence between the two countries. "I am glad to observe that in our every successive meeting, held anywhere in the world, we have made progress. Your visit today is thus is also a befitting proof of the ever-growing bond between the two of us," she said speaking at a reception hosted by her in honour of the visiting delegation of Indian parliamentarians at a local hotel here. Fehmida Mirza said that she always found warmth and an honest desire for friendship from her Indian counterpart. "The flight that took you from New Delhi to Islamabad was little over sixty minutes but it in fact travelled over sixty years of our common past as two independent neighbours," she said.
She pointed out that the past of Pakistan and India was a unique blend of personal affinities and state acrimonies of common heritage, shared values and same language and yet it was marred by missed chances and lost opportunities.
"It"s time to make-up for the past. It"s time to give people what they have always wanted a mutually respected, peaceful and friendly neighbourhood," she added.
The Speaker National Assembly said that the two Parliaments of neigbouring countries represent a quarter of the entire world"s population.
"These chambers speak for our people who are united in their firm belief in freedom, social justice and democracy."
Above all, she said the two legislatures had also collectively written history by electing for the first time women as their presiding officers.
This trust of our respective House is in fact a tribute to the women of Indo- Pak Sub-continent, she said.
Referring to her visit to India, she said that she had decided to travel to Delhi at the midst of a tense atmosphere in January 2010. "I did so since in parliamentary diplomacy. I found a hope for a way out. And yes we succeeded. My proposal for reviving the Pak-India Parliamentary Friendship group instantly met with your approval and new vistas of dialogue opened between us."
Fehmida Mirza said that the Parliamentary Friendship Groups in Pakistan and India"s parliaments had been established. "So we moved on the next stage of making them fully effective and task-oriented.I am sure this process will yield positive results by not only breaking the existing mist but also in finding practical ways to solve the contentious issues, affecting the healthy growth of our mutual relationship,"she added.
She said she was hopeful that such sustained parliamentary contacts would help in attaining an accelerated pace of bilateral trade, cultural and youth exchange as well as sharing mutual parliamentary experiences.
Speaking on the occasion Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar said her visit was strong assertion of the desire of the people of India for friendship with the people of Pakistan.
"This my first visit to Pakistan and I hope it will help foster friendly ties between the two countries," she said. She said bilateral relations between India and Pakistan had been on a positive trajectory after the meeting of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh met and Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani on the sidelines of the SAARC summit in Thimphu in 2010.
That was the first phase of our strong ties and now we have entered into the second phase. This should go on and be strengthened. That is the whole aim to boost bilateral travel, trade and commerce, Kumar said.