August 8, 2015
Attention has been drawn to media reports that a meeting of Speakers of Indian Provincial and Federal Assemblies has called on the Parliament of Pakistan as host of the 61st Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference (CPC) to issue an invitation to the Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir Assembly to attend the 61st Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference.
It is also been reported that the meeting inter alia also decided that in case, an invitation to the Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK) is not issued, Indian Members of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA)would boycott the 61st CPC.
The 60th CPC, held in October 2014 in Cameroon, unanimously elected Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, Speaker of the National Assembly of Pakistan, as the President of the CPA and decided to hold the 61st Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference in Islamabad from September 30 – October 8, 2015.
The Parliament of Pakistan as the host of the 61st CPC has made elaborate arrangements for hosting this important conference and the National Assembly, in consultation with the Senate of Pakistan, has laid out a comprehensive and elaborate plan for this important international parliamentary moot.
As a result thereof, 115 branches of the total 178 parliaments of the 53 CPA Countries, numbering 403 delegates and observers have already registered and confirmed their participation in the Conference. This also includes 27 legislatures of the total 32 member Assemblies of the Indian Region.
The Parliament of Pakistan had, however, decided that under no circumstances would the Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir Assembly be invited to attend this event despite their membership of the CPA.
It based this decision on the principled and historic stand of Pakistan that the Jammu and Kashmir issue is on the UN agenda, as an unsettled dispute since 1947. There are outstanding UN Security Council’s Resolutions on Jammu and Kashmir, which call for the Kashmiris’ right to self determination through a free and impartial plebiscite under the UN auspices.
The relevant UNSC Resolutions rule out any alternative to Plebiscite in Jammu and Kashmir as a possible disposition of this issue. In addition, the Parliament of Pakistan has also passed numerous unanimous resolutions, calling for the right of self-determination for the people of Jammu and Kashmir.
Pakistan upholds the right of people of Jammu and Kashmir to self determination in accordance with the Resolutions of the UN Security Council. As such, the Parliament of Pakistan cannot issue an invitation to the Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir Assembly to attend this Conference, as it would be in violation of the UNSC Resolutions. Our position on this issue as such is rooted in international law and UNSC Resolutions.
The Parliament of Pakistan, nevertheless, looks forward to welcoming all invited Members of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association to Islamabad for the 61st CPC and assures warm hospitality. The Parliament of Pakistan hopes that its position on this issue would be understood in the proper context and that CPA Members will help it host a successful Conference.