Pakistan withdraws Commonwealth event in Islamabad to highlight Kashmir issue


ISLAMABAD: National Assembly speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq said on Thursday the Commonwealth Parliamentary Union (CPU) event scheduled to be held in Islamabad next month will now be held in New York.


The event will no longer be held in Islamabad as Pakistan earlier declined to invite the speaker of Indian Kashmir assembly.

“We have clarified to the London Secretariat of Commonwealth that Kashmir is a disputed territory and now it is impossible for the Commonwealth Conference to be held in Pakistan,” he said.

“A detailed letter will be written to the CPA countries over the Kashmir dispute and the Kashmir issue will be raised on every forum of the Commonwealth,” the NA speaker added.

Determined that the Kashmir issue could not be overlooked, Sadiq said, “Pakistan cannot overlook the cause of Kashmir at any cost”.

Sadiq said that he is adamant in his stance that the Indian Kashmir assembly speaker would not be invited to the talks.

“The decision to hold the event in Pakistan was made on the basis that the Indian Kashmir assembly speaker would not be invited to the Conference,” he said.

Adviser to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs and National Security Sartaj Aziz had earlier said that Kashmir remained a disputed matter. “Kashmir case is a disputed one, Pakistan has always maintained that the issue needs to be resolved in accordance with the UN resolutions,” he said.

Late last year, more than 200 parliamentarians from 53 countries of the Commonwealth chose Pakistan as the venue for this year’s Commonwealth Parliamentary Assembly session.