India decided to boycott 61st Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference to be held in Islamabad

Aug 8, 2015 10:10 IST

India on 7 August 2015 decided to boycott the 61st Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference which is slated to be held in Islamabad, Pakistan from 30 September to 8 October 2015.

The unanimous decision to boycott the meeting was taken after the conclusion of the meeting of the Speakers of all State Legislative Assemblies that was called in New Delhi.

The meeting was called to discuss the Pakistan's deliberate decision to not invite the Speaker of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) Kavinder Gupta.

India protested the unilateral decision of Pakistan saying that by not inviting J&K speaker, it is violating the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) constitution and was against the guiding principles of the Commonwealth of promotion of international understanding, world peace and democratic governance.

Further,  a statement issued from the Lok Sabha secretariat after the meeting said that "Article 8 of the CPA constitution states that each branch shall be entitled to send a prescribed number of delegates and officials to each plenary conference and, accordingly, the J&K branch is entitled to send one delegate to the conference."

Moreover, when the 3rd Asia and India Regional CPA Conference was held in Islamabad in March 2007, the J&K branch was invited by the Pakistan CPA branch and three delegates from J&K had participated in the conference.

About Commonwealth Parliamentary Association

The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) with its Secretariat in London was founded in 1911 as the Empire Parliamentary Association. The original member Branches were Australia, Canada, Newfoundland, New Zealand, South Africa and the United Kingdom.

In 1948, with the evolution of Commonwealth, the name was changed to CPA and the rules were changed to enable all member Branches to participate in the Association’s management, and established a separate Secretariat to manage its affairs.

The CPA in 1989 created the constitutional posts of Patron and Vice-Patron. H.M. Queen Elizabeth II as the Head of the Commonwealth consented to become Patron. The Vice-Patron is normally the Head of State or Government of the Branch hosting the coming plenary conference.

Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury, the first woman Speaker of Bangladesh Parliament for the second time, is the current Chairperson of the CPA.

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