A view of 4th round of Pakistan-India Parliamentarians Dialogue in New Delhi on Thursday. – Photo by APP

ISLAMABAD: Members of Parliament from Pakistan and India on Thursday discussed opportunities of deepening ties between their countries specifically focusing on the issues of visa regime, role of media, education and local government.

“It is a great fortune that India and Pakistan are neighbours that work in favour of each other,” said the Speaker of Lok Sabha Meira Kumar who hosted the Pakistan delegation visiting India as part of the 4th round of India-Pakistan Parliamentarians Dialogue, said a press release.

“Our relationship goes back in history through civilisational bonds and beyond,” she said.

She was addressing the Pakistan delegation that called on her on the sidelines of the 4th round of India-Pakistan Parliamentarians Dialogue that is taking place in New Delhi from August 23-24.

The Lok Sabha Speaker, while welcoming the delegation to the Parliament and in India, said that the Indian Parliament with 42 political parties represents the national consensus in India that the people of India want a stronger and peaceful relationship with the people of Pakistan.

She appreciated the PILDAT initiative to bring MPs of both countries to the dialogue table and said that Parliamentary engagement is committing the two countries to peacefully resolving all issues of mutual concern and interest.

Earlier, the 4th round of India-Pakistan Parliamentarians Dialogue was formally inaugurated at the Vigyan Bhavan, New Delhi.

Senator Sabir Ali Baloch, Deputy Chairman, Senate of Pakistan (Balochistan, PPPP) and Mani Shankar Aiyar, Member, Rajya Sabha (Nominated, INC) initiated the proceedings with their welcome remarks.

Pakistan Co-Chair Senator Muhammad Jehangir Bader, Leader of the House, Senate of Pakistan and Khurram Dastgir Khan, MNA, Chairman, National Assembly Standing Committee on Commerce (NA-96, Gujranwala-II, Punjab, PML-N) also spoke on the occasion.

The MPs also discussed the developments in the official Pak- India Dialogue.

On the second day of the dialogue on August 24, the MPs will discuss opportunities of collaboration in the area of health while also developing recommendations on the future scope of the MPs Dialogue.

In his welcome remarks, Ahmed Bilal Mehboob, Executive Director PILDAT, thanked the organizers of 4th round of dialogue on the Indian side including Yashwant Sinha, former minister of External Affairs and Mani Shankar Ayer, former union minister.

Terming the two leaders as two great towers of strength for the Parliamentarians Dialogue, he said that both leaders have been associated with the organisation of the Parliamentarians Dialogue for the past 2 years.

He also thanked N. K. Singh, Member of the Rajiya Sabha for his tremendous support to the MPs Dialogue Process.

He also thanked the support extended by the two Parliaments especially Dr Fehmida Mirza, Speaker National Assembly of Pakistan, Meira Kumar, Speaker Lok Sabha and Faisal Karim Kundi, MNA, Deputy Speaker, National Assembly of Pakistan.