Pak wanted to jeopardise IPU conference in Dhaka by boycotting it

London [United Kingdom], Apr. 7 : Pakistan wanted to jeopardise the 136th Inter Parliamentary Union (IPU) Assembly to be held in Dhaka, Bangladesh, by boycotting the event.

In an article that has been published by the Dhaka Tribune, Nadeem Qadir, Press Minister of the Bangladesh High Commission in Britain, writes that Pakistan wanted to jeopardise the mega conference by pulling out at the last moment, but the other participants from around the world did not play along.

Qadir terms this as 'a major achievement for Bangladesh'. He also speculates that the militant attacks that took place in Bangladesh just before the conference may have been the doing of pro-Pakistani elements to scare off the participants.

He rationalises that Pakistan wanted to boycott the IPU Assembly as a tit-for-tat measure against Bangladesh for boycotting the SAARC Summit that was scheduled to be held in Islamabad in November last year.

A total of 1,348 delegates, including 650 parliament members, 53 speakers, deputy speakers, and 209 women parliamentarians of 131 countries, attended the mega event.

Dhaka gained more from the event, as the world community agreed that interference by Islamabad in the internal affairs of Bangladesh had crossed all limits.

Qadari further writes that every time a 1971 war criminal was and is executed, Islamabad took up the issue in parliament, proving that those executed were indeed "important, celebrity collaborators" of the Pakistani Army.

He also speculates that another reason for Pakistan to boycott the IPU Assembly could have been the mandatory visits to the National Martyrs' Memorial and the museum dedicated to the memory of Bangladesh's first Prime Minister Sheikh Mujibur Rehman.

He adds that even though former president Pervez Musharraf had laid a wreath at the memorial in Savar and had "regretted" the "incidents" of 1971, the military and top politicians felt embarrassed.

The Dhaka Tribune quotes him, as saying that Pakistan can fix this situation if its leadership listens to its people, who want the government to seek forgiveness for their crimes against humanity in 1971 and stop patronising anti-liberation forces like the Jamaat-e-Islami and pro-Pakistani political elements.

"My experience in Pakistan says the majority now know the true history of 1971, thanks to the Internet, and Islamabad should respect the voice of its own people, he adds.

The five-day long 136th Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) Assembly ended yesterday with the declaration of "Dhaka Communique" that called for strengthening efforts to open parliaments to all people and better representing the most impoverished community.

The declaration also urged to take measures to enhance transparency and to protect the political system from the influence of money and organised lobbies.

The IPU, established in 1889 with its headquarters in Switzerland, is the focal point for global parliamentary dialogues for peace, development and cooperation among peoples, and for the safeguard of representative democracy.

Earlier, while boycotting the conference, Pakistan had cited continued malicious and uncalled for propaganda and unfriendly attitude of the Bangladesh government against the people and the state behind this move.

In his statement, Speaker Ayaz Sadiq said that members of the National Assembly have noted with dismay and disappointment the continuing actions and negative public statements of the leadership, public officials and the media of Bangladesh despite Pakistan's restraint and overtures to that country.

He said that Bangladesh also boycotted all international parliamentary moots, organised by the parliament of Pakistan during the last two years despite personal requests by the highest parliamentary leadership to the speaker of the Bangladesh Parliament.

This included invitations to attend the SAARC Young Parliamentarians Conference in August 2016, the International Women Parliamentarians Conference 2017 and the Asian Parliamentary Assembly in 2017, it said.

Source: ANI