LAHORE - Speakers at a seminar on Democracy, Dialogue & Development held on Friday held a common view that peace as vital ingredient of democracy can be achieved only through dialogue and not conflicts.
PML-N media coordinator Muhammad Mehdi recalled that Medina pact was the first example of dialogue that was given the shape of a written legal document during the era of the Holy Prophet (PBUH).
Talking about democracy, he criticised double standards being adopted by the world in this respect. He regretted that the people of Algeria and Egypt were deprived of their right to have the governments elected by them because their choice was not acceptable to the so-called world powers and champions of democracy.
He said ‘confining’ the right to rule only to the liberal segments of society would work against strengthening roots of democracy.
The PML-N leader also chided the forces opposing the consensus reached in the September 9 conference represented by the political parties of various shades and thoughts in the country for engaging Taliban in the dialogue process.
PPP leader Naveed Chaudhry said democracy must not be measured in material terms. Although his party had supported dialogue with Taliban in the APC, he said the option of talks should be offered only to those elements who accept the writ of the Constitution.
However he regretted that the government itself was not clear on whom to engage and how.
Terming dialogue as the best way for resolving any issue, PTI MPA Dr Nosheen Hamid suggested that talks should be held not only among (militant and security) forces but also between legislators and voters. She said lack of interaction leads to frustration and then to rebellion.
ANP secretary-general Ehsan Wyne regretted that a tolerant society was turned into intolerant one by poverty, lack of education and army dictatorship. He said there would be no democracy without peace and peace needed dialogue and that the PML-N had been given the mandate for holding talks before war (with Taliban).