South Asia must not remain ‘prisoner of past’,says Pakistan

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Amid rising tensions between India and Pakistan in the wake of violence in the Kashmir Valley, Pakistan’s National Assembly Speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq said on Tuesday that South Asia should not remain a “prisoner of the past”.

“South Asia must not remain a ‘prisoner of the past’ but it should radiate fresh ideas and aspirations of our combined future,” Radio Pakistan quoted Sadiq as saying.

He was addressing the inaugural ceremony of the First South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation (Saarc) Young Parliamentarians’ Conference in Islamabad on Tuesday.

Kalikesh Narayan Singh Deo of Biju Janata Dal of Odisha, Devji Patel of Bharatiya Janata Party and Alok Tiwari of Samajwadi Party are attending the first such meeting.

Deo and Patel are members of the Lok Sabha while Tiwari is from the Rajya Sabha.

The two-day conference is aimed at offering young parliamentarians’ a narrative in the run-up to the Saarc Summit Pakistan is to host in November.

Sadiq’s comments come in the wake of violence in Jammu and Kashmir that has left at least 65 people dead in the aftermath of the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani on July 8.

In his Independence Day speech on Tuesday, Prime Minister Modi came out openly in support of “freedom” of Balochistan and the Kashmir under Pakistani control.

Sadiq said that South Asia must not remain a “prisoner of the past” but it should radiate fresh ideas and aspirations of our combined future.

He said that statesmanship demanded that we confront our issues judiciously and address them honestly with an aim to solve them sincerely.

“He outlined that shared cultures and histories of the region, and developing economies could provide ample opportunities to work together to address common challenges,” Radio Pakistan reported.

He highlighted that the goal of holding this conference was to build bridges between the future leaders of South Asia on a platform that supports continued engagement and cooperation.

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