Ensure invite for J&K speaker or shift CPA meet, says Mahajan

India has asked the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) to ensure that the Speaker of the Jammu & Kashmir (J&K) Assembly gets an invite for its annual conference in Islamabad or ask Pakistan to “forfeit” its right to host the event.

In a strongly worded letter dated August 8, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan apprised the CPA chairperson Shirin Chaudhary the displeasure of the presiding officers of the state Assemblies against the “unilateral” decision of Pakistan not to invite the Speaker of the J&K Assembly for the CPA annual conference.

Mahajan has asked Chaudhary, who is the Speaker of the Bangladesh Parliament, to use her good offices to ensure that the J&K  Speaker gets an invite for the September 30-October 8 conference to be held in Islamabad.

Referring to a meeting of the Speakers of all states onFriday, she said it was resolved to call upon the chairperson and CPA executive committee “to use her good offices to immediately resolve the matter” arising out of “unilateral” decision of Pakistan failing which CPA India region, including the Union and state branches, will boycott the event.

The letter said J&K branch of CPA was in good financial standing with CPA and fulfils all conditions of its membership.“I trust that as chairperson of the executive committee, you would pursue the matter and ensure that the century old traditions of the Commonwealth are upheld,” Mahajan said.

She said Pakistan’s decision was not only in violation of the provisions of CPA Constitution, but also against the principle that CPA is a membership organisation which has constitutionally been bound for over a century to invite all its member branches to the CPA annual conference so long as a branch is in good financial standing with the association.

Last Friday, India had decided to boycott the Commonwealth Parliamentary Union conference in protest against Pakistan not inviting the Speaker of J&K Assembly.

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