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National Assembly Speaker Raja Pervaiz Ashraf has called for general elections across the country to be held on the same day, declaring that Parliament was ready to play its role in this regard.
He was speaking to media representatives at an event on “Policy Dialogue on Climate Smart Agriculture and Food Security: Challenges and Way forward for Pakistan.” The event was organized by the Pakistan Institute of Parliamentary Services (PIPS) in collaboration with Syngenta in Islamabad.
Emphasizing that the struggle for democracy can only succeed through Parliament, the Speaker stressed the importance of consensus and dialogue among all political parties to address the socio-economic challenges facing Pakistan.
He urged the three key stakeholders – the Election Commission of Pakistan, the incumbent government and all political parties – to develop a consensus on holding elections.
Responding to a question on the rising support prices of wheat for farmers, he noted that the cost of agricultural inputs needs to be rationalized to check this trend.
The Speaker said that Pakistan is facing severe impacts of climate change, including drought, forest fires and recent devastating floods.
He commended the Pakistani nation for successfully grappling with these challenges and said that climate change, food security and sustainable agriculture are strongly interlinked.
He further emphasized the central role of the Pakistani diaspora in finding new ways to transform agriculture in response to climate change. He praised the country’s agricultural scientists for their work in inventing new seeds and techniques to increase agricultural production.
The Speaker emphasized the critical role of parliament in a democratic society and noted that parliamentarians are in a unique position to ensure the effective ratification of international climate change agreements and the implementation of the Paris Agreement.
The Secretary General of the Women’s Parliamentary Caucus, Ms. Shahda Rehmani, was also present at the event.