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Pakistani democracy is facing proxy intervention: Rabbani

Abdullah Momand

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) stalwarts and former Chairman Senate Mian Raza Rabbani while sharing his insight on International Day of Democracy in a seminar told that previously the powerful country establishment directly intervened in democratic process but these days the country establishment is intervening through proxy to derail or weaken the democratic journey. He added that in the first article of the 1973 constitution of Pakistan this has been mentioned that there will be a parliamentary democracy but these days some elements are trying to derail the process through presidential form of democracy which will be hazardous for the country because we already practiced these in the past.

“we witnessed a presidential system in dictatorship later in 1962 and later in the Zia era but the consequences are visible and ruined the country” Rabani added.

SDGs Secretariat along with Pakistan Institute of Parliamentary Services and Parliamentarians Commission for Human Rights hosted a National Seminar to celebrate the International Day of Democracy in PIPS Auditorium.

The event was attended by Parliamentarians, Diplomats, Civil Society and students. Event was inaugurated with a brief presentation by Mr. Shafique Chaudhary – ED, PCHR on Parliament and Human Rights. He said, “Democracy and human rights are interrelated and interdependent.”

Hon. Mr. Riaz Fatyana MNA, in his opening remarks thanked all the participants and highlighted that, “The basic injunctions of democracy include, the smooth deliverance of civil and political rights to the people, encouraging maximum participation and freedom to express. Further, it makes the elected representatives fully accountable to its people and are directly or indirectly answerable to them.”

Hon. Deputy Chairman Senate, Mr. Saleem Mandviwala stated “Democracy, in its truest form, can only survive if it works with the consent of governed. It is the political and social system which promotes free and organic participation of people for state’s smooth growth and progressiveness.”

Hon. Syed Fakhar Imam, Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research presented his remarks and stated, “Our political system has been abrupt and problematic due to many reasons. The major complications faced by our region is due to a disturbed and unsettled shared history, mistrust due to political and diplomatic concerns and threats of terrorism. Additionally, the hostile relations between India and Pakistan has been the most highlighted problem not only for the region but for the International community.”

Hon. Mr. Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, MNA, remarked “International Day of Democracy is indeed an opportunity to reaffirm our shared commitment to protect and promote democracy. The creation of Pakistan was the expression of the “FREE WILL” of the people. Democracy, thus, is the bed-rock of our beloved country and it can only flourish and prosper through the meaningful participation of its people. Democracy is a basic right of citizenship to be exercised under conditions of freedom, equality, transparency and responsibility, with due respect for the plurality of views, and in the interest of the polity. Parliaments, all over the world, are the vanguards of these rights.”

He further highlighted that “We must, therefore, highlight the important role of parliaments on this day, and celebrate their capacity and mandate to deliver on justice, peace, development and human rights.”

Honorable Speaker National Assembly Mr. Asad Qaiser in his closing address said, “One major component of democracy is that no one person, or group or class holds power or any office on permanent basis. The free, fair and regular elections allow fresh and vigorous mandates to enter into the system.”

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