ISLAMABAD: Speaker National Assembly Sardar Ayaz Sadiq has said that upholding values of democracy, peace and the rule of law ere essential for global growth and development. “Pakistan is a peaceful country that believes in dialogue for cooperation and understanding,” he expressed while addressing the 148th IPU Assembly in Geneva on “Parliamentary diplomacy: building bridges for peace and understanding”.

The Speaker said that fostering bilateral and joint partnerships through the Parliamentary Friendship Groups among parliaments of the world would strengthen the parliament-to-parliament contacts, said a press release issued here Monday. While appreciating the IPU’s efforts for peace and understanding across the globe, he has said the world is witnessing death and destruction in Gaza at an unimaginable scale as over 30,000 civilians have been killed, most of whom are women and children. He expressed his resolve that Pakistan would continue to raise grave concerns at the situation in Gaza where heart-rending images of death and destruction from Gaza are emerging. Ayaz Sadiq also said that Israel’s actions violated all international humanitarian and human rights law deliberately attacking civilian targets and as such, constituted war crimes and crimes against humanity. During his speech, he also reiterated strong and unequivocal condemnation of the indiscriminate use of force by Israel and call for an immediate and unconditional ceasefire in Gaza. “We have always and will continue to stand by our Palestinian brothers and sisters for the exercise of their inalienable right to self-determination for a viable, secure, contiguous and sovereign State of Palestine on the basis of the pre-1967 borders with Al-Quds Al-Sharif as its capital.” While mentioning the grim situation of violations of humans rights in Occupied Jammu and Kashmir, he said that Kashmiris had been suffering the indignity and oppression over seven decades. He also stressed on the need for ensuring the right of self-determination in Kashmir as per UNO Security Council Resolution. He also added, “The problem of Jammu and Kashmir is not just about the territory, peace, and security; it is, first and foremost, about the people and their unmet aspirations to determine their political future.” The Speaker also sought the attention of participants to the worst challenge of global Climate Change being faced by developing countries. “Pakistan’s contribution to the global carbon footprint is quite less than 1 percent, even then Pakistan remains the frontline state to bear the brunt of climate change as in 2022, Pakistan suffered one of the worst floods of its history which left one-third of the country inundated.” He also said that it was high time for taking international action to deal with the effects of climate change and galvanize it, especially in the most vulnerable countries. While reiterating his pledge as parliamentarians, he said that they need to deepen their understanding of a new era of technological progress and what it means for their work and the people they represent.

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