Islamabad: The Speaker National Assembly Sardar Ayaz Sadiq urged upon the parliaments across the world to become influencers through setting the positive migration narrative and embarking on facilitative policymaking and legislation.

“We can achieve better national, regional and global migration governance frameworksthrough dialogue and understanding”, he added.

According to a message received from Geneva, Sardar Ayaz Sadiq expressed these views while addressing 138th Inter Parliamentary Union Assembly at Switzerland.

The Speaker said that democracies around the world were facing with a complex mix of opportunities and challengesat present.Democracy is not holding elections alone; it is about developing a new socio-economic culture of mutual respect, understanding, rule of law and accountability, the Speaker said.

He further added that democracy fails when it turns its back to the needs of the vulnerable and bows to populist demands of seclusion, prejudice and pride.

Talking about the theme for this year’s IPU General Assembly’s debate “Strengthening the global regime for migrants and refugees: the need for evidence-based policy solutions” the Speaker said that at present, when the public discourse on migrants and refugees is often marked by increasing hatred, discrimination and xenophobia, this discussion is both timely and critical.

The Speaker said that more than 258 million people, were living as foreigners, includedthose migrants, who immigrated in search of a better future while on the other hand, there were also unfortunate victims of terror, prosecution and fear.

He said that in the last IPU, Assembly held in St. Petersburg, has adopted the emergency item pertaining to the grave human crisis, persecution and violent attacks on the Rohingya and called it a threat to international peace and security and called for ensuring the unconditional and safe return of the Rohingyas to their homeland in Myanmar.

He said that despite elapsingfive months, the plight of the Rohingyas remains the same. “The same situation in the Middle East from the Syrian Refugee Crisis to Yemen, there wasnew centres of human civilization’s devastation while the 4th generation of the Palestinians has grown up in the refugee camps, awaiting their return to their independent homeland”, the Speaker added.

Sardar Ayaz Sadiq said that Pakistan has vast experienceof hosting of refugees for decades. “Today, more than 80 percent of the world’s refugees are being hosted by the developing countries, which are already facing their own socio-economic challenges” he added.

He said that in such contesting times, providing protection and assistance to refugees should be the responsibility of the entire international community. However, the burden is not shared equitably, he said.

He said that for continued asylum space, it is of paramount importance that perennial responsibility-sharing gaps in the international system for protection of refugees are addressed through increased funding, technical support, expanded resettlement in third countries and complementary pathways.

The Speaker said that despite stressing enough on the need for durable solutions and addressing the root causes of forced displacement,we should maintain peace and security and early resolution of conflicts to ensure that refugees could return in safety and dignity.

Sardar Ayaz Sadiq said that International immigration is a driver for growth which they have brought opportunities, experiences and new ideas for all.

He said that Pakistan has a strong, vibrant and skilled Diaspora of 2.7 million working in the developed countries and their remittances are an important contribution for the development of Pakistan.

He stressed the need for the elected leaders to change the narrativeand their cooperation on migration governance should be based on mutual respect, understanding and spirit of accommodation.