While expressing satisfaction on the lately concluded peaceable and largely truthful Cantonment Boards elections, Pakistan Institute of Legislative Development and Transparency (PILDAT) has proven excessive concern on the persevering with overreach in opposition to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and the rising tide of autocratic attitudes in direction of media in Pakistan on the International Day of Democracy.
The International Day of Democracy is well known globally on September 15 and offers a chance to evaluation the state of democracy on the earth. According to the United Nations, the International Day of Democracy additionally encourages the world’s governments to strengthen democracy.
Pakistan has a number of distance to cowl in strengthening the state of democracy as demonstrated by the worldwide indices of democracy for 2021.
This yr, Pakistan has dropped a degree from the final yr’s rating of 38 to 37 out of 100 within the Freedom within the World 2021 Index printed by Freedom House.
Swedish Varieties of Democracy or V-Dem Institute’s report titled ‘Autocratization Turns Viral: Democracy Report 2021’ has characterised Pakistan as an ‘Electoral Autocracy’ and locations it within the backside 30-40% international locations with a Liberal Democracy Index (LDI) rank of 116. The Economist Intelligence Unit’s Global Democracy Index continues to put Pakistan within the class of ‘Hybrid Regime’ with a rating of 105.
This state of affairs may worsen because the PTI authorities has already taken an unprecedented and harmful perspective in direction of the Election Commission of Pakistan. Their scathing criticism started when the Prime Minister accused the ECP to have ‘broken democracy and morality’ and continued additional when key federal ministers demanded resignations from all 5 members of the constitutional physique.
Another horrible and completely condemnable low was reached when Federal Minister Azam Swati lashed out on the ECP saying that the constitutional physique ought to be “set on fire.” Instead of resorting to higher judgement and sensibility, different Federal Ministers joined this deplorable refrain of assaults in opposition to the ECP.”PILDAT deplores the continuing irresponsible attitude of some of the government ministers towards the ECP and stands in solidarity with the constitutional body,” declared a press release made by PILDAT on the matter.
Another essential index measuring the state of democracy is media freedom. International voices have constantly criticized the PTI authorities for its huge crackdown in opposition to the media and for failing to guard media freedom in Pakistan.
Recently, Reporters with out Borders had included Prime Minister Imran Khan within the “gallery of grim portraits of 37 Heads of State or Government who crack down massively on press freedom.” Despite persevering with home and worldwide criticism on this regard, one other low was reached on September 13 when the Press Gallery within the National Assembly was locked and journalists have been barred from coming into it because the President of Pakistan was fulfilling the constitutional requirement of opening one other parliamentary yr by means of his tackle to the Joint Session of Parliament.
“It is inexplicable how a politically-elected government can stoop so low as to deny freedom of information and maintain a hostile attitude towards the media. Denying media entry into the Press Gallery to cover the President’s address to the Joint Session is utterly condemnable,” said PILDAT.
As an indigenous impartial assume tank working to strengthen democracy and democratic governance in Pakistan for the previous 20 years, PILDAT maintained that as an alternative of weakening democracy, the Government should understand that Pakistan’s future is tied to strengthening and never undermining democracy.
“As Pakistan grapples with a vast variety of challenges of democratic governance, it is important for the state and society not to lose sight of the democratic genesis of Pakistan and future prosperity solely linked with democracy,” said PILDAT.