Developments will either lead Pak into chaos or democracy: US think tank

December 5th, 2007 - 4:26 pm ICT by admin  

Islamabad, Dec 5 (ANI): Transition to democracy or chaos will come out of the developments unfolding in Pakistan, a US think tank has said.
Carl Gershman, the president of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), presented this assessment at a roundtable on the critical situation arranged by the Centre for Civic Education here.
Pakistan is in the spotlight of global democratic experience today because the outcome would have global impact, he said.
Gershman observed that “there is an opportunity for democratic growth by virtue of the situation being created.”
Though he found the dynamics of the war on terror “not healthy for the development of democracy”, he saw “strong prospect” for democracy in the wake of the struggle of lawyers, students, journalists and teachers in Pakistan for rule of law and Constitution.
Gershman said that political growth can only take place in culture of democracy.
Lt-General (retired) Talat Masood said that the military became “a very dominant institution” in Pakistan for historical, political, economic and geo-strategic reasons.
It was very difficult for the military to get out of politics because democratic pillars like independent judiciary and strong and democratic political parties were missing, he added.
As a defence analyst he held the war on terror responsible for impeding democracy in Pakistan, the Dawn reported.
Extremism and terrorism were the direct result of lack of democracy, he said, declaring that “no war can be won without the support of people”.
Dr Inayatullah, President, Council of Social Sciences, said that suppression of political parties and political leaders over decades had weakened the democratic culture in the country.
Politicians faced exile and execution and the most brilliant of them was hanged, he reminded.
Athar Minallah, a leader of the lawyers movement, said an independent judiciary is essential to bring stable democracy to Pakistan which was created as a welfare state but converted into a security state.
“As long as there is no independent judiciary, elections will be a farce and will be rigged,” he declared.
Brian Joseph, NED Director for Asia, was also present on the occasion.
The NED is a private grant-making institution based in Washington. Its mission is to strengthen democratic institutions around the world. (ANI)

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