March 31, 2017 - 11:12am
National Assembly Speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq defends decision to sit out IPU Assembly saying the existing environment would not promote the interest of any side.
Pakistan speaker says a visit at this point will not serve the purpose
Pakistan has decided to boycott the 136th Inter Parliamentary Union (IPU) Assembly that begins on April 1 in Bangladesh’s capital because of a prevailing ‘hostile environment’, says National Assembly Speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq.
In a statement on Thursday, he criticised the “continuing actions and negative public statements” by Bangladesh’s leadership, public officials and media “despite Pakistan’s restraint and overtures to the country.”
“I have, therefore, decided not to travel to Bangladesh as a visit at this point will not serve the purpose,” he said.
Sadiq claimed that Pakistan’s parliament had “most sincerely laboured to harness good friendly and brotherly relations” with the Bangladeshi people and its parliament.
He recalled Pakistan backing Speaker Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury for Commonwealth Parliamentary Association Executive Committee chairperson and Saber Hossain Chowdhury for IPU president in 2014.
“… The same level of cooperation was extended through the platforms of Parliamentary Union of Islamic Countries and the Asian Parliamentary Assembly,” Sadiq said.
Bangladesh “never reciprocated”, he claimed, recalling how Speaker Chaudhury did not visit Pakistan “despite repeated invitations” and Bangladesh Parliament boycotting all international parliamentary moots organised by Pakistan in the last two years.
“All such dedicated efforts, unfortunately, fell in vein and Pakistan was time and again targeted and maligned.
“Such hostile environment would not promote the interest of any side. It was, therefore decided, with a heavy heart, not to undertake a visit to Bangladesh at this time,” he added.