Speaker, National Assembly Dr. Fehmida Mirza has asked European Union (EU) for its support for the socio-economic development in the country especially in the flood affected areas in Pakistan. She remarked that EU has been always supportive of the democratic governments in Pakistan in their development initiatives. Dr. Fehmida Mirza said this while talking to Ms. Jean Lumbert, Chair of the South Asian Delegation of the European Parliament who called on her along with a 3-member delegation in Parliament House, this afternoon. Dr. Fehmida Mirza said that Pakistan attaches high importance to its relations with European Union which are deep rooted in bonds of friendship, cooperation and mutual understanding on various issues. She appreciated EU support for the strengthening of democratic process and institutions in Pakistan. She said that political leadership of Pakistan envisions a long term strategic partnership with EU with special emphasis on strengthening of economic and trade partnership, peace and security and parliamentary cooperation. Dr. Fehmida Mirza appreciated the economic assistance by EU after devastating floods and in time of devastating natural calamities. She also thanked EU Parliament for its support for trade concessions to Pakistan. The Speaker said that the present democratic government in the country had inherited massive challenges that included terrorism, extremism, financial crunch and shortage of energy. She said that Pakistani nation has shown resilience and has supported government in time of crises. She said that government is committed to the socio-economic development in the country in consonance with the aspiration of the elected representatives through its indigenous resources. She said that support of friendly countries specially the EU would supplement its efforts. She apprised the EU delegation about the role of women in legislative process and functioning of Parliament. Ms. Jean Lumbert, appreciated the remarks of the Speaker and said that EU would continue its unwavering support to Pakistan for the development of infrastructure, gender equality, education, health and strengthening of Election Commission and electoral reforms. She informed the Speaker that EU has chalked out a comprehensive development plan for which EU would be spending substantial amount of funds for the development process in Pakistan despite financial constrains in EU Region. She also appreciated unanimous appointment of Chief Election Commissioner. The Head of the Delegation assured Madam Speaker for assistance to the Parliament for the capacity building of Parliamentarians and secretarial staff, research, automation of parliamentary record and parliamentary library.