India bid to forestall Pakistan from taking IPU put up

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 30

India will be manoeuvring to ensure that Pakistan does not win the elections to the International Parliamentary Union (IPU) that will take place in a virtual session during the meeting of its Governing Council from November 1 to 4.

The candidates for the election of the new IPU president, through remote electronic secret ballot, include Muhammad Sanjrani (Pakistan), Akmal Saidov (Uzbekistan), Salma Ataullahjan (Canada) and Duarte Pacheco (Portugal).

But for the Uzbek nominee, the others are formidable public figures in their own right.

Sanjrani is the Chairman of the Pakistan Senate and has headed the international affairs committee.

This means that as per protocol, he has interacted with all major figures who have visited Pakistan.

Ataullahjan is a candidate reluctantly put up by the liberal Ottawa government as she belongs to the Conservative camp but has had long innings in public life.

Pacheo is well versed with the politics in the IPU, Geneva, and has in the past headed the “12 plus geopolitical group” of the IPU.

The term of the new President of IPU will be from 2020-23.

From India, a delegation led by Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla, Poonamben Hematbhai Maadam (BJP, Lok Sabha) and Swapan Dasgupta (nominated, Rajya Sabha) will participate in the virtual session and cast their votes.

The session will also be attended by Lok Sabha Secretary-General Snehlata Shrivastava and Rajya Sabha Secretary-General Desh Deepak Verma while Ajay Kumar, Joint Secretary, Lok Sabha Secretariat, is the Secretary to the delegation.

Prior to the scheduled virtual session of the Governing Council, a virtual meeting of the Asia-Pacific Geopolitical Group (APG) of IPU, consisting of 36 nations, was organised on Friday by the President of Senate of Philippines, the current Chair of APG.

Swapan Dasgupta and Snehlata Shrivastava had attended the meeting.

The Governing Council is the main policy-making body of the IPU which is mandated to elect the new president of the IPU. Each member of the Parliament of the IPU is represented by three parliamentarians in the Governing Council and accordingly has three votes, provided the delegation has both men and women.

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