Civil society seeks new CoD for national stability

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.

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