Expressing disappointment over the absence of Pakistan from South Asian speakers conference in Indore, the IPU President on Saturday said even if countries stop talking, parliamentarians should engage in the dialogue process.
“Although, Pakistan in not here on this occasion but we are hopeful that it will participate in upcoming events of this very warm platform in near future,” Inter-Parliamentary Union chief Saber Hossain Chowdhury said.
“Let me refer to a disappointment that we don’t have Pakistan or someone from Parliament of Pakistan with us. Of course it is not unusual for governments to have differences but we at the IPU believe that political dialogue is absolutely critical".
“Even if the governments don’t talk or when (they) stop talking, parliamentarians should continue to engage in dialogue process,” he said while speaking at the inaugural address of the South Asian Speakers Summit in Indore.
Pitching for further enhancement of cooperation between parliamentarians of different countries, the MP from Bangladesh said a possibility should be explored of establishing joint parliamentarians groups of South Asia for working together on the common challenges.
Hinting that South Asian speakers forum can play a better role than SAARC, he said its participants want to create a platform which helps member countries in achieving their respective national objectives.
“If you look at it politically...I’m not here to discourage the work of SAARC, but I think SAARC despite its huge potential has not lived up to the expectations. It is in many ways a promise that is not being kept,” he said.
“Whereas, we as representatives of people want to create a structure, want to add value to the ongoing discourse and through the sustainable development goals so that to give people the future which they desire,” the MP from Dhaka said.
For this the platform is very critical and a functioning political mechanism within the region is needed to help achieve respective national objectives, he added.
There is a need to establish a functioning political mechanism which helps and complements each other in achieving national goals as well, Chowdhury said.
He also mentioned that unlike South Asian speakers, nowhere else in the world do speakers come together to discuss sustainable development goals.