Setback For Pakistan. As CPA Cancels Meet

20 August 2015
The Hindu
Smriti Kak Ramachandran

New Delhi: The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) has cancelled its conference to be held in Pakistan in September, after India protested against Islamabad's decision not to invite the Speaker of the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly for the meeting. On August 7, New Delhi announced a boycott of the conference unless Pakistan invited the Speaker or the association changed the venue. Sources said the CPA executive committee, which held a teleconference on Wednesday, showed 'overwhelming support' for India's decision. It was decided that Pakistan had violated the CPA constitution by not inviting an eligible member - in this case, the J&K Speaker - and the conference stood cancelled. Sources said 27 of the 28 members had the view that the venue of the meeting should be changed, unless Pakistan reversed its decision. P.D. Rai, MP, and Speakers of the Goa and Punjab Assemblies Rajendra Arlekar and C.S. Atwal, respectively, represented India. New date for CPA meet not decided The decision to cancel the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association meeting in Pakistan was announced by its Chairperson and Speaker of Bangladeshi Parliament, Shirin Sharmin Chaudhary. A new date and venue for the meeting is yet to be announced. Earlier, at an emergency meeting of Speakers and Chairmen of Legislative Bodies in India convened by Lok Sabha Speaker Sumita Mahajan, it was decided to convey to the CPA headquarters in London that the Pakistan CPA Branch forfeited its right to host the conference by not inviting the J&K Speaker. Earlier, while withholding the invitation, Islamabad said inviting the Speaker of the J&K Assembly was in violation of the U.N. Security Council Resolution 1991(1951) of March 30, 1951 and Resolution 122 (1957) of January 24, 1957, and contradicted the fundamentals of its foreign policy.