ISLAMABAD - Experts at a dialogue have focused on the need for a new Charter of Democracy (CoD) to address the evolving political landscape and the challenges faced by Pakistan in upholding the democratic principles.
The dialogue was arranged by AwazCDS-Pakistan in collaboration with the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) to discuss and promote democracy in the nation.
In his opening remarks, AwazCDS-Pakistan Chief Executive Zia-ur-Rehman highlighted the current poor political and human rights situation in Pakistan. He emphasized the importance of the CoD, signed in 2006 by two major political parties, the PPPP and PML-N, in strengthening democracy in the country.
He highlighted that 36 commitments were made in the first CoD, with 14 commitments related to maintaining power balance between state institutions.
However, little progress was made on these fronts, he remared.
He argued that the changing political landscape, increased political polarization, and the emergence of new leadership in the country demands signing of a new Charter of Democracy.
Human rights activist Husain Naqi also called for maintaining balance between the state institutions to ensure strong democratic system in the country.
He said there should be a constitutional and legal remedy to hold local government elections for its continuous functioning.
He also demanded increasing allocation of funds for the health and education sectors.
In her remarks, HRCP Chairperson Hina Jillani said that all political parties which have electoral representation should be approached for a new CoD signing.
She appreciated the thought of talking about the new CoD, however, said that there is a need to carefully look into the agenda.
She suggested that the civil society should only raise voice about conflicts and gaps in the Constitution as it is the parliament that has the authority to revise it.
In his remarks, PFUJ President Afzal Butt said they need to reach every press club and civil society members and get their suggestion about the draft of a new CoD and should present it to political parties after completing it.
He said civil society forums should be used to facilitate political parties in this regard.