Islamabad, 9 March 2022 (TDI): Speaker National Assembly, Asad Qaiser said that Parliamentary communication is vital for developing democratic institutions. 

The remarks were made during a meeting with Acting Chair Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, Ian Liddell-Grainger, MP, and Secretary-General CPA, Stephen Twigg. 

He praised the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) for facilitating dialogue between regional legislatures. He reaffirmed his commitment to bolstering democratic norms in the country while also learning from excellent democratic practices in other countries’ legislatures.

Pakistan, he noted, has been an active member of the CPA and has taken the lead in CPA issues in the Asian region. The Speaker informed the visiting guests about the formation of the Pakistan Institute for Parliamentary Services and how it will be used to develop the capacity of Parliamentarians and staff.

He envisions it becoming a university with courses in legislative drafting, Parliamentary practices, and Parliamentary diplomacy. He requested that the Acting Chair, CPA, utilize his patronage to secure collaboration with UK universities.

He also requested the CPA Chair’s support in obtaining professors from UK universities to assist Parliamentarians at PIPS with capacity building. Concerning the CPA Asia Regional Chapter, the Speaker stated that Pakistan, as the regional secretariat of the CPA Asia, has re-energized Parliamentary contact between regional Parliaments.

When asked about the relationship between the UK and Pakistan, Speaker Asad Qaiser stated that Pakistan places a high priority on its connections with the UK because the two countries share a common interest in many national and international issues.

Parliamentary exchanges, he noted, are important in enhancing bilateral collaboration. He also stated his desire for a Parliamentary team to visit the CPA’s London headquarters soon.

He added that the Pakistani Parliament had become the first to be accessible to Persons with Disabilities, citing steps taken to meet the criteria set out by the Democratic Legislatures Self-Assessment. 

Asad Qaiser also reiterated that Pakistan’s Parliament would continue to work toward achieving democratic norms in the country’s legislature. Ian Liddell-Grainger, MP, Acting Chair of the CPA, praised the actions taken by the Pakistani Parliament to meet the CPA’s benchmarks.

He stated that UK and Pakistan are linked in mutual relations and share common interests. He believes that parliamentary cooperation among CPA members will promote democratic values and bilateral relations. He also praised Pakistan’s efforts to strengthen the CPA in the Aisa region.