Speaker National Assembly Dr Fehmida Mirza has said that the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Nations should contemplate the creation of South Asian Parliament for sustainable peace and prosperity in the region.
She said that it would be the largest forum of legislators, commanding the trust of 1.7 billion South Asians enabling our respective countries to negotiate sustainable solutions to our numerous bilateral and multilateral problems.
Dr Fehmida Mirza said this in her keynote address at the working session of the 5th SAARC Speakers and Parliamentarians Summit being held in New Delhi, according to a message received from India on Sunday.
Dr Fehmida Mirza said that the conception of SAARC Parliament would infuse a new life into SAARC forum besides supporting, guiding and protecting the emerging democracies of the region by becoming a vanguard of freedoms in South Asia.
She said that “we should collectively resolve to build peace, ignite prosperity and consolidate democracy by strengthening trust between our people and the Parliaments”.
She said that South Asian region has seen enough bloodshed, wars and conflicts; therefore, the Parliamentarians should jointly bring an end to our people’s miseries by joining hands for a meaningful cooperation through experience-sharing, joint resource mobilisation and strong networking. She said that all SAARC Parliaments are confronted with identical challenges which bear the burden of more than half of the world’s poor, mal-nourished, illiterate and disease-stricken people.
She said that unfortunately democracy could not be consolidated in all the SAARC due to deeply entrenched authoritarianism in our respective societies which never allowed the uninterrupted growth of a vibrant democratic culture.
She said that “at the turn of the century, however, our common struggle for freedom, democracy and justice again bore fruits and wave of democracy was finally sweeping across the SAARC region”. She said that Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Nepal were witnessing the dawn of a new era of people’s power.