Islamabad: National Assembly Speaker Dr. Fehmida Mirza has stressed the need for enduring support for strengthening of Democratic Institutions in Pakistan by United States. She appreciated the US support extended for the construction of Pakistan Institute of Parliamentary Services (PIPS) however, expressed her concern on the delay of construction work. Dr. Fehmida Mirza was talking to Ms. Robin Raphel, Advisor to US Special Envoy on Afghanistan and Pakistan in Parliament House, this evening.
While talking to the US Envoy, Dr. Fehmida Mirza said that democracy in Pakistan has taken its roots and democratic institutions were vibrant and performing their functions in a promising manner. She said that issues of national importance were being deliberated upon in the Parliament and the subsequent discussions serve as the guidelines for the government.
She said that regrettable 26th November incident was a blow to the Pak-US relations. She said that the incident was being deliberated by Parliamentary Committee on National Security and its recommendations/findings would be discussed in parliament for assessing future relations between the two countries.
The Speaker said that Pakistan has been a victim of militancy and terrorism. She said that the economy of Pakistan confronted a major blow while playing its role as frontline state against fight against militancy from across the border and within the country.
She said that illiteracy; poverty and lack of employment opportunities in FATA were major causes of extremism and terrorism. She said that provision of basic amenities and creating employment opportunities in those areas would help in eliminating this menace. She also asked for fulfilling US pledge for establishing ROZs in the tribal best of Pakistan. She said that continued assistance and tangible steps by United States in that regard were imperative.
She also asked for enhancing US assistance for meeting energy crisis, infrastructure development, health and education. Dr. Fehmida Mirza cited that forums like PIPS for enhancing cooperation between the parliaments of two countries.
Ms. Robin Raphel, Special US Envoy appreciated Madam Speaker for meeting her and agreed that 26th November incident was regrettable. She appreciated the role played by Pakistan in fight against terrorism and extremism. She said that U.S wanted to see Pakistan a strong and prosperous and was committed to help strengthen democratic institution in Pakistan.
She said that development of FATA was the priority of U.S government and all efforts will be made to eliminate backwardness from the area. She also assured Madam Speaker of US continued assistance for socio-economic uplift in the country besides accelerating the pace of work at PIPS Building so that it could be handed over to the Parliament within stipulated deadline.
For more information, contact:
Karamat Hussain Niazi
National Assembly of Pakistan
Parliament House, Islamabad
Tel: +9251 922 1082 -83
Fax: +9251 922 1106