Monday, January 30, 2023

As parliamentarians stick together: CPA chair on Pakistan political crisis

CPA acting chairperson Ian Liddell-Grainger on Saturday said that though all details of the political happenings in Pakistan were not known yet, as fellow parliamentarians, Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) members will ‘stick together’ with their colleagues from that nation.
He added that as parliamentarians themselves, the CPA members are aware of difficult times that elected representatives may go through on their home turf .
“We don’t know (fully) what has happened as yet. We have a number of colleagues from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Myanmar and we look after all our colleagues as family of the Commonwealth,” Liddell-Grainger said, reacting to recent developments in Pakistan.
“We have all come through difficult times in Parliament, so we do understand. When there are issues, we stick together,” he added.
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan is facing a no-confidence resolution in the Parliament on Saturday with the Opposition gathering support of the requisite numbers to topple the government.
If the resolution is passed, Khan will be the first premier in the country to be voted out in a no-trust motion.
He was speaking to media on sidelines of the two-day mid-year executive meet of Commonwealth Parliamentary Association that is being held here.
Asked whether the Russia-Ukraine war will figure in discussions during the meeting, Liddell-Grainger said the issue will not be taken up.
He said, “We are not a security agency, we never have been….its up to the two countries, they are not part of the Commonwealth.” The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) links Parliamentarians and parliamentary staff from over 180 national, state, provincial and territorial Parliaments and Legislatures across the Commonwealth through its network.
The CPA acting chairperson said deliberations during the two-day meet will focus on the Association’s activities, including on how to increase engagement with women and young people and academics.
“The meet is happening after a gap due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We have a lot of discussions to catch up on,” he added.

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