Pakistan

ISLAMABAD – The heads of the parliaments from six regional countries at the First Speakers’ Conference on Sunday called for establishing a joint mechanism to cope with the challenges of terrorism and security besides promoting the inter-region connectivity.

President Mamnoon Hussain in a group photo with the Heads of delegation during the 1st Speakers’ Conference.

Hosted by the National Assembly of Pakistan, the three-day conference commenced here with an  objective to focus the parliamentary cooperation for peace, connectivity and prosperity in the region. The theme of conference is “the challenges of terrorism and inter-regional connectivity”.

Besides, Speaker National Assembly Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, Speaker of the Wolisi Jirga of Afghanistan Abdul Rauf Ibraheemi, Speaker of the Shoora-e-Islami of Iran Dr. Ali Larejani, Chairman of the State Duma of Federal Assembly of Russia Volodin Vyacheslav Viktorovich, Speaker of Grand Turkish Assembly Ismail Kehrman and Vice Chairman of the National People’s Congress of China Zhang Ping, addressed the inaugural session of the international event.

They also appreciated Speaker National Assembly, Sardar Ayaz Sadiq for convening the conference to discuss the important issue, presently confronting the whole world.

Vice Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress China Zhang Ping said, “no country alone can address the challenges, being faced by the mankind and therefore, we will have to work together to tackle them.”

He said the six countries of the region have gathered here to discuss the important challenges of the humanity. “We should commit to secure peace and stability through collective efforts”.

He said that China is working with the international community to combat terrorism and stressed the need for joint efforts to defeat this menace. “China wants peaceful settlement of issues confronting the international community” he added.

He said that China’s One Belt One Road (OBOR) project to connect the whole world will be beneficial for all.

Speaker of Islamic Consultative Assembly of Iran, Dr. Ali Ardeshir Larijani said Islam is the religion of peace and those, misusing the name of religion for terrorist activities are doing no service to Islam.

He said occupation of other countries, poverty and under-development are some of the causes of extremism and terrorism and these must be addressed to overcome the problem.

President of the Wolesi Jirga of Afghanistan, Abdul Raouf Ibrahimi said, “addressing the challenge of terrorism should be our priority as our progress, peace and prosperity are deeply linked to it.”

He said the problem is assuming new dimensions as terrorist groups have modern weapons and ammunition. The terrorists are targeting the civilians, women and children in the name of religion.

He said, “Islam does not allow anyone to kill people as it is against the humanity, killing one people means killing of whole humanity.” Afghanistan is fighting against terrorism as a front line state and without joint efforts fight against terrorism cannot be won,” he maintained.

Chairman of the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation, Vyacheslav V. Volodin said, “we can defeat terrorism through collective efforts.”

He called for choking funding for terrorism and strengthening legislative measures in this regard. “We can only effectively fight the against terrorism jointly,” he stressed.

Speaker of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey Ismail Kahraman said the conference is going to yield positive results and therefore, it needs to be made permanent feature. He also endorsed the idea of Sardar Ayaz Sadiq of establishing a permanent secretariat of the speakers’ conference.

Declaration:

The first Speakers Conference has reaffirmed that terrorism cannot and should not be associated with any religion, nationality, civilization, culture and ethnic group and called for full and effective implementation of the relevant United Nations Security Council resolution and global counter terrorism strategy.

The declaration issued at the conclusion of the Speakers Conference in Islamabad today recognized terrorism as a common threat to the entire world and condemned the phenomena in all its forms and manifestations.

The participants recommended that their governments shall take further strong measures in practical steps through devising joint concrete and comprehensive strategies to combat terrorism.

The participants expressed willingness to help promote dialogue, trust and confidence with the view the common challenges of terrorism in unified coordinated and comprehensive manner.

The declaration encouraged greater engagement and cooperation in people to people connectivity initiatives relating to education, human resources development, cultural exchanges and tourism.

The participants recognized that enhancing intra-regional connectivity would benefit all participating countries through enhanced trade, investment, infrastructure, tourism, people to people linkage and cultural exchanges.

Earlier on Sunday, the six-nation first Speakers Conference started in Islamabad with the theme of ‘Challenges of terrorism and inter-regional connectivity’.

Speakers of regional stakeholders including Afghanistan, China, Iran, Pakistan, Russian Federation and Turkey are participating in the conference along with their respective parliamentary delegations, reports Radio Pakistan.

President Mamnoon Hussain inaugurated the moot that enabled the participating countries to engage in meaningful discussions to explore common means of combating terrorism, maintaining peace and enhancing connectivity of people and states.