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Pakistan MPs to visit India for SAARC meet

Wednesday July 06, 2011 06:21:08 PM, IANS

New Delhi: Ahead of talks between the foreign ministers of India and Pakistan, the two countries will have time for a bit of track-II diplomacy when a Pakistani parliamentary delegation, led by National Assembly Speaker Fehmida Mirza, interacts with Indian MPs here later this week.

Mirza, the first woman speaker in the Muslim world, will lead the Pakistani delegation which will participate in the fifth summit conference of the Association of SAARC Speakers and Parliamentarians.

The four-day conference will be inaugurated by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh here Saturday.

The themes chosen for discussions at the conference include 'Consolidating Democracy, Strengthening trust between Parliament and People, and Sustainable Development in SAARC Countries - The Way Forward'.

Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar has set up a reception committee for the conference, with K. Rahman Khan, Rajya Sabha's deputy chairman, as its chairman and DEputy Speaker Karia Munda as the co-chairman. The committee comprises 38 members, including Minister of Parliamentary Affairs Pawan Kumar Bansal, besides sitting and former members of the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha.

Besides meeting Indian MPs, the Pakistani parliamentarians are likely to meet a swathe of civil society, signalling improved atmospherics after India resumed dialogue with Pakistan in February this year.

During the talks in Islamabad last month, the foreign secretaries of the two countries agreed that people were at the heart of the relationship and decided to step up interaction between their civil society, sportspersons and parliamentarians.

India and Pakistan will hold talks between their foreign ministers in New Delhi later this month.










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