ISLAMABAD, (Pakistan Point News - APP - 16th Augst,2016) :The two day first SAARC Young Parliamentarians Conference jointly organized by National Assembly of Pakistan and Pakistan Institute for Parliamentary Services (PIPS) started on Tuesday. The conference was inaugurated by Speaker National Assembly of Pakistan, Sardar Ayaz Sadiq. Around 28 Parliamentary delegates from the SAARC member countries have participated in the conference along with four international Experts.
SAARC Secretary General, Arjun Bahadur Thapa was also present during the conference. While addressing the inaugural session of the conference the Ayaz Sadiq narrated the objectives of the conference and said, "together, we all have gathered here in Islamabad with a sincere desire to give shape to a distinctive youth oriented narrative for progress as a prologue to the upcoming SAARC Summit in Islamabad, this November".
He further elaborated the importance of the conference and said "It's truly a momentous occasion in the history of democracy of the region. South Asia must not remain a "Prisoner of the Past" but it should radiate fresh ideas and aspirations of our combined future". While his address he shown his full confidence in Young Legislators to deliver and hoped that this Conference will serve as an ideal platform to explore and utilize the best of our parliamentary tools to ensure oversight and to develop key collaboration platforms like a permanent SAARC Young Parliamentarians Forum.
He urged the delegates to work together and chalk out a roadmap to rationalize the SAARC Young Parliamentarians Conference into a Forum that can meet regularly to streamline youth-related initiatives through legislative, representative and oversight tools for the mutual goal of youth emancipation. The convener of the conference Malik Muhammad Uzair Khan welcomed the delegates and other participants and termed the conference as a step in the right direction for achieving peace and harmony in the region.
He as one of the youngest members of the National Assembly appreciated the Ayaz Sadiq for the initiative to arrange the first SAARC Young Parliamentarians conference. He further explained that the purpose of the conference is to strengthen people to people contact and parliamentary diplomacy amongst the SAARC countries. "We are getting fresh approach to meet new challenges, building trust in youth for brighter future" said Malik Uzair.
He also acknowledged and lauded the European Union's efforts for strengthening democracy in Pakistan. He stressed the need on perpetual institution of SAARC Young Parliamentarians Forum. The Acting Head of the EU Delegation to Pakistan Stefano Gatto while making his remarks said that it is the collective responsibility of the South Asian countries to strengthen the democracy in the region. He also added that permanent department of the EU is working in Pakistan for the same purpose.
Gatto also said that we needed to replace war by cooperation and dispute by dialogue. While addressing the conference, the SAARC Secretary General Arjun Bahadur Thapa stressed the need for regional cooperation and explained how SAARC has grown as an organization in last 31 years. He said the Youth of South Asia is growing in number and by utilizing their full potential the goal of poverty eradication from the region can be achieved. He also appreciated the efforts of National Assembly in taking the lead to arrange the first SAARC Young Parliamentarians Conference. The Conference is an initiative by Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, that will offer region's young parliamentarians' narrative as a prelude to the 19th SAARC Summit which Pakistan is going to host in November this year.