APP62-04 ISLAMABAD: February 04 - Deputy Speaker National Assembly Qasim Khan Suri in a meeting with South African delegation consists of Prince Thumbuzi Diamini and Prince Magudvulela at Parliament House. APP

ISLAMABAD, Feb 4 (APP):Deputy Speaker National Assembly, Qasim Khan Suri said Pakistan valued its relations with South Africa, which were based on friendship and mutual trust.

He stressed the need for regular interaction between parliamentarians of both the countries, saying that the parliamentarians could play a pivotal role for strengthening the existing bilateral relations.

He expressed these views while talking to a two-member delegation of Republic of South Africa consisting Prince Thumbuzi Diamini and Prince Magudvulela who called on him here, a press release on Tuesday said.

Updating the members of the delegation about current situation in occupied Kashmir, he said the Indian government had deprived the Kashmiri people of their legitimate right of identity by revoking Articles 370 and 35A from the Indian constitution.

He said the worst lockdown of history had been ongoing in the entire valley for the last 183 days.

The entire Kashmiri leadership was in prison and media freedom was also curtailed to suppress the voice of the Kashmiri people, he added.

He further said the people of Kashmir were compelled to live a miserable life in extreme weather conditions due to ongoing lockdown in the valley as they were being deprived of all basic necessities of life, including food, medicine and fuel.

He said the only option to solve the problem of Kashmir was plebiscite in the Indian occupied valley according to the UN Security Council resolutions.

He appreciated South African support on Kashmir issue and said it holds a very special important place.

The deputy speaker also appreciated the freedom struggle of former President of South Africa Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela and said Pakistani nation had great regards for Nelson Mandela who was one the greatest statesmen of the twentieth century.

The deputy speaker expressed the desire to further strengthen warm relations between Pakistan and South Africa by enhancing parliamentary and economic contacts and invited South African investors to take benefit from pro-investment policies introduced by the incumbent government.

He said the volume of trade between Pakistan and South Africa was relatively low and unexplored, adding there was a great potential for further expansion of business ties in the future.

The members of South African delegation said South Africa values great importance to its relations with Pakistan.

The visiting delegation expressed its support to Pakistan’s position on Kashmir issue and regretted that people of Kashmir have been made subject to such brutal repressions.

Thumbuzi Diamini expressed hope that current lockdown in the Kashmir valley would end soon and the region would turn to normalcy.

He said Pakistan was an important country in the region and their government wanted to expand its relations with Pakistan.

He said Pakistan and South Africa have enormous potential to promote economic and socio-economic cooperation. The South African delegation extended invitation to the Deputy Speaker for visiting South Africa.