ISLAMABAD - Secretary General Commonwealth Kamlesh Sharma called on Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani here at PM’s House on Friday and expressed his deep sense of gratitude for supporting his candidature for re-election as Secretary General of the Commonwealth at Perth.

The Prime Minister said that the Commonwealth forum offered a valuable support to member states for nurturing and strengthening of democracy. He said the National Assembly recently passed the 20th Constitutional Amendment Bill, which would ensure free, fair and transparent elections in the country, as no body would raise finger at credibility of the electoral process.

The Prime Minister asked the Secretary General to send Commonwealth observers to monitor the forthcoming elections in the country.

The Prime Minister said that the empowerment of people at the grossroots level was important for beneficial trickledown effects in the country. He agreed with the Secretary General that the focus of Pakistan’s endeavours should be the women, youth and the less privileged segments of the society, who constituted major chunk of population of the developing countries.

The Prime Minister said that a number of legislations have been enacted in Pakistan to empower the womenfolk. A mechanism also exists to redress the grievances of women in the country, the Prime Minister said.

The Prime Minister stated that women and minorities constitute his constituency and the government has therefore successfully legislated to protect women in particular.

He added that the National Commission for Status of Women would monitor and report on the compliance of convention elimination of discrimination against women.

The Secretary General said that he was looking forward to meet the Prime Minister in London on the occasion of 60th anniversary of the Commonwealth in June this year. 

The Commonwealth Secretary General Kamalesh Sharma Friday delivered a public talk at the Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad (ISSI), under the Distinguished Lecture Series, “The Common Wealth: ‘Added Global Value.’ The Commonwealth Secretary General Kamalesh Sharma outlined many successes of the Commonwealth and its work. He said the Commonwealth as an organisation has a very distinguished culture. He spoke of the Commonwealth ‘moving up the global scale.’ He said Commonwealth gave equal importance to both small and large member states of its organisation.

Sharma said the Commonwealth gave more importance to global values and is working for global solutions. He said it called for civil paths for peace. He said the Commonwealth is working on green economy idea. He said Commonwealth thought that the G-20 should be T-20; it must be a group of Trustees, which thinks and acts not only for the 90 per cent of global GDP represented at the table, but also the 90 percent of countries not at the table. He said the Commonwealth would continue its unwavering support for strengthening of democracy and democratic process in Pakistan.