ISLAMABAD: The International Day of Democracy, being observed on Wednesday (today), provides an opportunity to review the state of democracy in Pakistan.
“Strengthening democracy means embracing genuine participation in decision-making, including peaceful protests, giving a real voice to people and communities that have traditionally been excluded,” Antonio Guterres said in a message on the eve of the International Day of Democracy.
“The silencing of women, religious and ethnic minorities, indigenous communities, people with disabilities, human rights defenders and journalists is an impediment to creating healthy societies. Democracy simply cannot survive, let alone flourish, in the absence of civic space,” the UN secretary general said.
Finally, safeguarding democracy means phasing out emergency powers and laws as the worst of the pandemic subsides. Some states and security sector institutions rely on emergency powers because they offer shortcuts.
With time, such powers can seep into legal frameworks and become permanent, undermining the rule of law and consuming the fundamental freedoms and human rights that serve as a bedrock for democracy, the UN chief said.
Published in Dawn, September 15th, 2021