Ensure J&K Speaker's presence in Islamabad: Sumitra Mahajan to CPA chairperson
Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan has written a letter to the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) chairperson, protesting against Pakistan's "unilateral" decision not to invite the Speaker of J&K Assembly for the meet.
New Delhi: Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan has written a letter to the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) chairperson, protesting against Pakistan's "unilateral" decision not to invite the Speaker of J&K Assembly for the meet.
According to PTI, Mahajan has asked the CPA chairperson to immediately resolve the matter and ensure invitation for J&K Speaker failing which India will boycott the conference in Islamabad.
Referring to a meeting of the Speakers of all states last week, she said it was resolved to call upon the chairperson and CPA Executive Committee "to use her good offices to immediately resolve the matter" arising out of "unilateral" decision of Pakistan failing which CPA India region including the Union and State branches will boycott the event.
The letter said J&K Branch of CPA was in good financial standing with CPA and fulfils all conditions of its membership.
Conveying outcome of the meeting which was held last week, the Lok Sabha Speaker said the members felt Pakistan "forfeit" its right to host the 61st Conference for not inviting Jammu and Kashmir CPA branch in violation of Article 8 of the CPA constitution and that the venue of the conference be shifted to another country.
"I trust that as Chairperson of the Executive Committee, you would pursue the matter and ensure that the century old traditions of the Commonwealth are upheld," Mahajan said in the letter written on Saturday.
"The host Pakistan CPA branch has taken the unilateral decision not to extend invitation to Jammu and Kashmir CPA branch.
"This is not only in violation of the provisions of CPA Constitution, it is also against the principle that CPA is a membership organisation which has constitutionally been bound for over a century to invite all its member branches to the CPA annual conference so long as a branch is in good financial standing with the Association," she said in the letter.
Meanwhile, Refusing to budge from its stand, Pakistan has said that come what may it will not invite the J&K Assembly Speaker to the Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference in Islamabad and if India boycotts the meeting it is "their choice".
Keeping firm stand over the said issue, Mahajan had earlier also said that India would boycott the September 30-October 8 conference if Jammu and Kashmir Speaker Kavinder Gupta was not invited.
She further said that Pakistan has invited the speakers of the other state assemblies for the nine-day conference but not the J&K Assembly Speaker.
The 10-day meeting will be held in Islamabad from September 30.
The theme of this year's conference is 'Renewing the commitment to pluralism and inclusive democracy in the Commonwealth'.
Parliamentary delegations from more than 175 legislatures of 53 countries of the Commonwealth are scheduled to attend the conference.
During their week long stay in Islamabad, over 600 parliamentarians will discuss issues pertaining to legislative oversight, parliamentary strengthening, gender development, climate change and other issues of importance to the Commonwealth fraternity.
(With Agency inputs)