APA agrees on joint initiatives against terrorism, extremism

Calls for removal of barriers, easing cooperation among Asian countries

ISLAMABAD: The Asian Parliamentary Assembly (APA) on Tuesday, in its declaration, agreed to support the possible joint initiatives by the Asian governments and parliaments to combat terrorism and organised crimes; violence and extremism; illicit drug trafficking; human trafficking and money laundering.
The APA meeting, which held today under the presidentship of Senate Chairman Nayyar Hussain Bukhari, also agreed on encouraging removal of barriers, easing further interaction and cooperation among Asian countries in areas such as science and technology; trade and business; art and culture; education and research; tourism and investment; human rights, particularly the rights of women and children and other fields. The declaration also reiterated the importance of the principles of peaceful settlement of all disputes and the prohibition of threat or use of force. 
It also denounced violence and extremism, and called for promotion of tolerance and commitment to dialogue with other religions and cultures; respect for human rights and democracy; participation and accountability as well as determination to promote balance and sustainable development. It agreed to keep the subject of “recent developments in Asia and ways and means to curb violence, promote dialogue and peace in Asian sub-regions”, as a permanent theme on the agenda items of the APA Troika-Plus meeting in the future.
Addressing the participants, Bukhari urged the APA member states to strengthen the forum as a platform where political, ethnic and cultural divergences can be converted into peaceful convergences through dialogue, mutual understanding, respect tolerance and co-existence. He underscored the need to take decisive steps for the establishment of Asian Parliament through a conference of Speakers and presiding officers of all the parliaments of the continent. 
He said that we are confronted with formidable challenges in the form of militancy and extremist mindset. 
“This Troika-Plus meeting will deliberate the ways and means to curb violence and promote dialogue and peace in Asian sub-regions at a time when global terrorism happens to weigh down heavily on regional economies,” the Senate chairman pointed out. 
The present Troika-Plus meeting, he said, ponders over historic and critical issues such as establishment of Asian Parliament and APA’s connectivity with other regional multi-lateral forums and ways and means to curb violence, promote dialogue and peace in Asian sub-regions. He said Pakistan has rendered innumerable services for world peace. Our peacekeepers have laid down their lives in promoting global peace in various UN missions across the world. 
“Even today, the valiant personal of our armed and paramilitary forces and law-enforcement agencies are rendering precious sacrifices of their lives as we fight head on the global war on terror,” Bukhari said. 
He thanked the participants and said that their presence is indicative of strong commitments and resolves towards pursing the APA objectives, as also agreed upon in the sixth Plenary held in Islamabad last year and duly manifested in Islamabad declaration. 

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