Shimla to host SAFMA parliamentary forum from June 2


By: Vikas Sharma

Shimla: Eighty-seven parliamentarians from across eight SAARC countries would participate in the ‘South Asian Free Media Association (SAFMA) Parliamentary Forum-II’, a first ever such meeting in India to be organised here in Shimla, Himachal Prades, from June 2.

The inaugural address would be delivered by Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee, and the closing speech would be delivered by former External Affairs Minister Yashwant Kumar Sinha.

The initiative for bringing together elected representatives from South Asia has been taken by South Asian Free Media Association (SAFMA), which works for strengthening regional cooperation and easing tension and conflicts in the region.

The meeting would also commemorate 150th anniversary of the first war of independence, and the venue has been chosen because of its association with the parleys on transfer of power with British government in the forties.

The meeting which would be second of its type after the first one was held two years ago at Murree. Pakistan would deliberate on steps for continuous contacts among the parliamentarians, either through the forum or other self- sustaining mechanism.

The theme of the meeting is “Towards South Asia Unity”.

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