International Democracy Day: Political leaders express resolve to strengthen democracy

Staff Report

Islamabad

Political leaders on Friday expressed their resolve to empower people through democracy, ahead of the International Democracy Day 2018.

In his message, former President Asif Ali Zardari has called upon all institutions to work within their constitutional limits.

In a message issued here, the former president said that in addition to rule of law, transparency, across-the-board accountability and tolerance of dissent, democracy also called for respecting the constitutional limits by all institutions.

Threats to democracy have changed with time, the former president said.

There was a time when democracy was directly assaulted and this assault was protected by devices like doctrine of necessity, the legal framework orders (LFOs), and provisional constitutional orders (PCOs) upheld by PCO judges.

The nature of threats to democracy has changed overtime, the former president said.

Democracy is under threat from militants and extremists who wish to impose their agenda by force, he said.

The celebrations today should also enhance people’s awareness of the new forms of threats to democracy and the need to guard against them, Zardari said.

The former president also paid glowing tributes to Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto as icons of democracy and countless political leaders and workers belonging to different political parties who have over the years rendered huge sacrifices for the cause of democracy.

National Assembly (NA) Speaker Asad Qaiser has said that democracy contributes powerfully to economic and social progress, international peace and security as well as respect for fundamental rights and freedoms, adding that democracy is essential to achieving our fundamental goals of peace, human rights and development.

The Speaker said that democracy is a universal value based on the freely expressed will of people to determine their own political, economic, social and cultural systems and their full participation in all aspects of their lives. In order to achieve this objective, it is imperative for the political leadership to shun their political differences and join hands to strengthen the democratic process in the country.

The beauty of democracy is that it finds indigenous solutions to the complex problems bedeviling the polity. It encourages participation of citizens, who are the real stakeholders, in taking charge of their lives. The public participation and ownership of state policies is the bedrock of democracy,” the Speaker added. He said democracy is underpinned by the principle of consensus within diverse sets of opinion. Hence, it creates unity in diversity and diversity in unity in a linguistically, ethnically and sub-culturally broad context. Qaiser reaffirmed that continuous electoral process ensures a democratic dispensation in the Pakistan.

On this occasion, Deputy Speaker Qasim Khan Suri has said that democracy is strengthening in Pakistan and all the progressive political forces were united on the issues of national importance and the Parliament is actively engaged in the welfare of the masses. He said successive derailing of democracy in past has badly hampered the growth and development of Institutions in the country. Democracy is the only way to guarantee our stability and to ensure our economic and social progress, he said.

 

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