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India boycotts 61st Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference

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A unanimous decision to boycott the 61st Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference which is to be held in Islamabad, Pakistan from 30 September to 8 October 2015 was taken in a meeting of the Speakers of all State Legislative Assemblies in New Delhi as a course of action as Pakistan has not issued an invitation to the Speaker of the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly Kavinder Gupta.

  • 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 conference and, accordingly, the J&K branch is entitled to send one delegate to the conference.” So as per India, by not inviting the J&K speaker, Pakistan has violated 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.
  • As per the Pakistan Officials, they did not invite the J&K Assembly Speaker since they don’t recognize the elected Assembly and the government in the state.

What is CPA?

  • The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) with its Secretariat in London was founded in 1911 as the Empire Parliamentary Association. 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.
  • Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury, the first woman Speaker of Bangladesh Parliament for the second time, is the current Chairperson of the CPA.