ISLAMABAD, Nov 5 (INP): Speaker National Assembly Sardar Ayaz Sadiq has arrived in Madrid on the invitation of the President of the Spanish Congress of Deputies, Mr. Jesus Posada Moreno. He is leading a high-powered bi-partisan Parliamentary delegation to Spain. The Speaker began his tour with a community meeting organized by the Pakistan Embassy which was attended by a cross section of Pakistani representing various cities of Spain including Barcelona, Logrono, Valencia, San Sebastian, Vitoria and Cordoba.
According to a message received from Madrid, the ceremony began with recitation of Holy Quran. This was followed by a welcome address by Mr. Rafat Mahdi, Ambassador of Pakistan to Spain. Speaker National Assembly had a candid discussion with the representatives of Pakistani community.
Pakistani community while welcoming the launch of Machine Readable Passport (MRP) System in Madrid, requested that the same may be initiated in Barcelona soon. They expressed concerns on the likelihood of the cessation of PIA flights between Barcelona and Pakistan and requested Speaker´s intervention to ensure that the PIA operations were not cancelled. Besides the normal traffic, PIA flights were extremely useful in the transportation of dead bodies to Pakistan.
The community raised the question of a dual nationality agreement between Pakistan and Spain to retain their rights as Pakistanis while acquiring Spanish citizenship. They also requested the Speaker for taking up the matter of facilitation in legalization of Pakistanis living in Spain particularly extension in the validity period for acceptance of documents such as Police Character Certificate etc. to enable them to obtain and retain their residency and citizenship status in Spain.
The Speaker assured the community that he would take up the matters of concern for Pakistanis in Spain during his meetings with Spanish authorities. The visit of Speaker is an important milestone in the bilateral relations between Pakistan and Spain and is likely to give new dynamism to the cordial ties existing between two countries.