Islamabad withdraws from Dhaka IPU Assembly

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Dhaka : Pakistan has withdrawn from the 136th Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) to be hosted by Bangladesh on April 1-5.

A Foreign Ministry official in Dhaka on Tuesday confirmed Pakistan’s decision to UNB, saying the country has not cited any reason behind it.

The Foreign Affairs Ministry of Pakistan conveyed its decision to Bangladesh High Commission in Islamabad through a “note verbale”, said the official.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Pakistan has the honour to inform that the Speaker, National Assembly of Pakistan, and his delegation will not be able to participate in 136th Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) to be held in Dhaka,” according to the note sent to Bangladesh authorities by Pakistan side. UNB obtained a copy of the note verbale from Dhaka.

The Pakistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs requested the Bangladesh High Commission in Islamabad to share the decision written in a three-para letter with the authorities concerned of Bangladesh.

Amid India-Pakistan tensions, a number of countries, including Bangladesh and India, boycotted the Saarc Summit scheduled to be hosted by Pakistan in Islamabad, resulting in postponement of the Summit.

The 19th SAARC Summit was scheduled to be held in Islamabad in November last year.

Taking decisive actions to end economic, political and social inequality will be the focus of deliberations for the more than 650 MPs from 132 countries meeting in Dhaka from 1-5 April.

Parliamentarians, including 53 Speakers of Parliament, will make concrete proposals on a range of issues, from ending rising inequality to promoting women’s access to financing, during the 136th Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) (#IPU136) hosted by the Bangladesh Parliament.

Nobel Peace Prize laureate and children’s rights activist, Kailash Satyarthi, will be the keynote speaker during the opening session of the debates on April 2.

Kailash Satyarthi has spent many years tackling the tragic impact of inequality on children.

He is expected to highlight the role and responsibility of parliamentarians in ending child labour and better protecting children from all forms of exploitation. Together with the IPU, he also will call on nations to end child trafficking and make every effort to protect the fundamental rights of children.

New estimates published by Oxfam show that just eight men own the same amount of wealth as 3.6 billion people who make up the poorest half of humanity. According to the IPU, the consequences of inequality are unsustainable, causing instability and undermining human rights.

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