Halifax, 24 August 2022 (TDI): The Speaker of the National Assembly of Pakistan, Raja Pervez Ashraf, held a meeting with the President of the Senate of the Parliament of Australia, Sue Lines.

The meeting took place on the sidelines of the 65th CPC in Halifax, Canada.

Remarks of the Pakistani Speaker

In the meeting, the Pakistani Speaker extended an invitation to the President of the Australian Senate to visit Pakistan. He also invited her to the upcoming IPU Regional Seminar on SDGs organized by the National Assembly of Pakistan.

Moreover, he stressed the need to enhance Parliamentary cooperation and sought expanded cooperation in trade, technology, education, and parliamentary interaction. He opined that parliamentary diplomacy was of great value for building meaningful relations between two countries.

He also briefed the Australian Speaker about the splendid events of the Diamond Jubilee Celebrations of the 1st Constituent Assembly of Pakistan.

Remarks of the Australian President of the Senate

The Australian Parliament Speaker, Sue Lines, welcomed the ideas and remarks of the Speaker of Pakistan and informed that she had also recently invited the Aboriginal Women to visit the Parliament.

She said that Australia had sent a new Ambassador to Pakistan and hoped that the relationship between the two countries would be further enhanced under his tenure.

Furthermore, she touched upon the ongoing Cricket interaction between the two countries and noted that sports were yet another area of interaction between the two nations.

She also informed that many Pakistani students were studying in Australia, which provided a remarkable chance to deepen relations between Pakistan and Australia.

Remarks from other officials present at the meeting 

Minister of Law Azam Tarar was also present during the meeting. He said that being Commonwealth Countries, Australia and Pakistan had a lot in common regarding the system of governance, justice, and law.

He noted that the basic tenet of the law of both countries was drafted by the same man, Lord Macaulay. This provided an excellent opportunity for cooperation and sharing best practices for promoting good governance and speedy justice in the respective countries.

He also informed that in his capacity as the Bar leader, he was instrumental in revamping and redrafting law education in Pakistan. In this respect, he had signed agreements with the Universities and law schools of the US and England.

He sought similar collaboration with the Australian universities. The Australian official welcomed the idea.

Furthermore, Senator Saleem Mandwiwala, the Chief Whip in the Senate, said that in his earlier role as the Deputy Chair of the Senate, he had realized well that parliamentary diplomacy provided far better and more adequate space in resolving issues between states than the formal diplomatic channels.

He noted that although there were friendship groups in each parliament with their sister parliaments, they were not used to their full potential.

Convener Member of National Assembly Romina Khursheed briefed the Australian delegation on the work of the SDGs Secretariat and the efforts put to bring the development agenda within the fold of the parliamentary business.

She specifically briefed them about the upcoming SDGs Seminar and handed over a copy of the invitation to the Seminar to the Australian Parliamentarian as Australia is a Member of the IPU’s Asia Pacific Group.

The Australian President of the Senate took a keen interest in the Children’s Session of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations and congratulated the Speaker of Pakistan on holding this event.

She also praised the role of Pakistani women parliamentarians and noted that the country had given the world the first Muslim woman prime minister and the first Muslim woman speaker.