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Envo Info

Published Date: Dec 18, 2013

Government and the opposition both agree on addressing issues related to climate change, food security

The
government and the opposition both agree on addressing issues related to
climate change, food security and population dynamics in the country. This was
expressed by Syed Khursheed Shah, Leader of Opposition in the National Assembly
of Pakistan, while meeting a delegation of parliamentarians from across South
Asia. Political parties in Pakistan should come together for resolution of
issues carrying international importance. Climate change effects have grown
worse in South Asia. In this regard, there is an urgent need for
parliamentarians and policy makers to devise an agreed-upon frame of action for
the region at large. Governments from South Asian states should take concrete
steps to strengthen liaison between parliamentarians. Democratic forces from
the region can collectively provide solutions for emerging global issues to the
international comity of nations. He further added that actions to prevent the
adverse impact of climate change on agriculture cannot be delayed anymore.
Larger economies from the region should come forward to help smaller ones in
this regard, he observed.  He appreciated the efforts of the Sustainable
Development Policy Institute (SDPI) in bringing together policy makers and
experts from South Asia to jointly deliberate over issues of mutual concern.

Later in
the meeting, the Leader of the Opposition expressed that it is welcoming to
note that parliamentarians from Pakistan, particularly women, have played an
important role in this regard. He added that there is an urgent need for
revival of the Ministry of Climate Change so that concrete policy actions can
be taken, as has been done before when the Ministry was functional during the
last government. He resolved that parliamentarians from his own political party
will back the government in addressing emerging global challenges. He said that
the vision of Benazir Bhutto should serve as a guiding principle in the face of
such challenges.

Kinley Om,
Member of Parliament from Bhutan extended support from her country for joint
redressal of issues related to climate change, food security and population
dynamics in South Asia. She also appreciated the role of media in Pakistan,
which has been crucial in terms of spreading awareness on such issues. Governments
in the South Asian region should support the media for creating technical
awareness on such issues in their countries, she added. Women parliamentarians
from South Asia can play an effective role in bringing positive change in the
region. She appreciated the active participation of women parliamentarians from
Pakistan, including MNA Dr. Saeeda Iqbal, Senator Dr. Shahida Rehmani, and MNA
Arifa Khalid, in the three-day meeting of South Asian parliamentarians. She
further observed that the technical support with regards to research on such
issues, as provided by SDPI, is both welcoming and beneficial for the region.

Speaking at
the occasion, Dr. Abid Suleri, Executive Director, SDPI, observed that climate
change, food security and population dynamics are global challenges and the
three day meeting of South Asian parliamentarians was important in bringing
forward recommendations to address these issues. These recommendations will
also be shared with governments and parliamentarians across South Asia and at various
SAARC forums. He added that SDPI will extend all possible research support to
South Asian parliamentarians to address these issues.

Ananda
Pokhrel, Member of Parliament from Nepal expressed that the struggle to foster
democracy in Pakistan serves as a guiding beacon for Nepal. He extended
parliamentary and public support for positive policy actions at the regional
level in South Asia. Engineer Ikram Sayed, Member of Parliament from
Afghanistan, said that larger democracies in South Asia should extend support
to smaller states in the region. He added that organizations like SDPI should
be appreciated at all international forums so that they can continue providing
research support in favor of sustainable development in the region.

The
delegation of South Asian parliamentarians in the meeting with the Leader of
the Opposition in the National Assembly of Pakistan included MP Ganesh Shah, MP
Ananda Pokhrel, and Resham Lal Kandhel from Nepal, MP Kamal Safi, MP Ikram
Sayed, Rohullah Amin, and Yousuf Ghaznavi from Afghanistan, MP Ritu Raj
Chhetri, MP Rinzin Dorji, MP Nima Gyeltshen, and MP Kinley Om from Bhutan, LKSU
Dharmakeerthi from Sri Lanka, Mokhlaser Sarkar from Bangladesh,  Puja
Sawhney from India, Abid Suleri, Moazzam Bhatti, and Kashif Salik from SDPI,
Pakistan.

Later, Syed
Khursheed Shah presented souvenirs to the MP Kinley Om, who was heading the
delegation of South Asian parliamentarians at the meeting. Ayaz Sadiq, Speaker
National Assembly of Pakistan invited the delegation to observe the proceedings
at the Parliament of Pakistan. The Speaker also extended welcome remarks to the
delegation.