Speaker National Assembly calls for upholding the right to self-determination of the Kashmiris; highlights Pakistan’s sacrifices in the fight against terrorism
ISTANBUL, 12 October 2019: The Speaker National Assembly of Pakistan, Hon. Asad Qaiser, has called on the international community to address the prevailing grave human rights and humanitarian situation in the Indian Occupied Jammu & Kashmir (IOJ&K) as well as to uphold the inalienable right to self-determination of the Kashmiris.
The Speaker National Assembly was speaking at the Third Conference of the Speakers of the Parliaments on Countering Terrorism and Strengthening Regional Connectivity, which was held at Istanbul today. The Conference was also attended by the Speakers of the Parliaments of Turkey, Afghanistan, and Russia, as well as Vice Speaker of Chinese National People’s Congress. The Speakers’ Conference is a platform conceived and established by the Parliament of Pakistan, with its inaugural meeting held in Islamabad in 2017. 
Addressing the opening and closing sessions of the Conference, the Speaker National Assembly highlighted the worsening situation in the Indian Occupied Jammu & Kashmir. He emphasized that the unilateral and illegal actions of India of 5 August 2019, and the subsequent imposition of virtual blockade of over 8 million Kashmiris, posed a grave risk for the regional peace and security. 
The Speaker reiterated that being one of the biggest victims of terrorism, Pakistan was determined to root out the menace. Pakistan had rendered numerous sacrifices in the fight against terrorism and had successfully turned the tide against it.
Terming connectivity as one of the foundation stones of the regional peace and prosperity, the Speaker highlighted the progress being made by Pakistan under the flagship China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project.  He said that Pakistan would continue to take steps towards greater regional connectivity, including by making the Conference of the Speakers of the Parliaments on Countering Terrorism and Strengthening Regional Connectivity more effective and responsive to the regional needs. 
The conference, at its conclusion, endorsed the Islamabad and Tehran Declarations of 2017 and 2018 respectively, which among other things call for the resolution of the Jammu & Kashmir dispute in accordance with the relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions. 
The outcome document also underscored the need for all States to avoid politicization of the UN Sanctions regime as well as the work of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). 
Led by the Speaker National Assembly, Pakistan’s Parliamentary delegation to the Conference also comprised of the Deputy Chairman Senate, Saleem Mandviwalla; the Chairman of the National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Kashmir, Syed Fakhar Imam; former Speaker National Assembly, Sardar Ayaz Sadiq; Senator Lt. General (Rtd) Abdul Qayyum; Senator Mian Muhammad Ateeq Shaikh; Senator Rana Maqbool; Chairman of National Assembly’s Foreign Relations Committee, Malik Muhammad Ehsan Ullah Tiwana; and Ms. Shazia Marri (MNA).