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Heated debate by IPU lawmakers

SA nations in hostile co-existence !

By Special Correspondent
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An international roundtable discussion on nuclear disarmament in Dhaka witnessed a heated debate on Thursday when participant lawmakers of South and Southeast Asian countries heavily protested a portion of the keynote paper delivered at the event.
Though the Inter-Parliamentary Union [IPU] Assembly concluded on Wednesday, the international roundtable forum, organized by Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament [PNND], an associate organisation of IPU, was held at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre in the city.
Presided over by Bangladeshi Parliamentarian Moinuddin Khan Badal, the keynote paper was represented by Indian Parliamentarian Dr Mani Shankar Aiyar.
Among others, Deputy Speaker of Bangladesh Parliament Fazle Rabbi Mia, IPU President Saber Hossain Chowdhury, Chairperson of Parliamentary Standing Committee on Ministry of Foreign Affairs Dr Dipu Moni and parliamentarians of India, Bhutan, Nepal, Japan, New Zealand and United Kingdom took part in the discussion.
Global Coordinator of PNND Alyn Ware conducted the programme as moderator. Some of the lawmakers became irritated, when Dr Shankar at one paragraph of his keynote paper mentioned that the South Asian nations are now in "hostile co-existence", which ultimately flared up heated arguments in the roundtable meeting.
In the article, it was also mentioned that Bangladesh and Myanmar are facing hostility in many areas where India and Pakistan have been nourishing enmity between them for a long time.
The Bangladesh parliamentarians instantly protested the statement given in the keynote paper. Later, the legislators of other countries, including Speaker of Bhutanese parliament, raised their voice against it, which created a chaotic situation in the conference room.
Protesting the statement, Deputy Speaker of Bangladesh Parliament Fazle Rabbi Mia said: "Bangladesh maintains a friendly co-relation with its neighbours. Rather, a dangerous situation has been prevailing in some other countries like Palestine…So, the global community will be 'confused' by this theory [keynote paper]."
Fazle Rabbi Mia also demanded to withdraw such statements from the keynote paper. The Speaker of Bhutan supported his proposal. They also threatened to boycott the programme, if their proposals are not taken for consideration.
The hot situation became cool after Chairperson of the event Moinuddin Khan Badal announced the withdrawal of the controversial statements. Later, the roundtable discussion began again, but there was a less of warmness. Taking part in the discussion, Saber Hossain Chowdhury said: "IPU - the largest organizations of parliaments in the world - always speaks out of world peace, democracy and equality. Bangladesh is always in favour of global peace. I hope, the countries will declare them as nuclear free countries, not as the nuclear free zones." Moinuddin Khan Badal, in his speech said, "I do urge all big powers not to sanction money for spreading nuclear weaponries. There is no alternative to check the spreading of nuclear weapons and disarmament to keep an equilibrium and friendly relationship among the states."

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