Modern democracy full of promise and challenges: Asad Qaiser

Says widening gap between principles and practices resonates with the plight of innocent Kashmiris


Our Correspondent November 29, 2021
National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser

ISLAMABAD:

Speaker National Assembly Asad Qaiser has called for global efforts to address the challenges to democracy. He said that global surge in populism threatens to submerge the core tenets of democracy.

He was addressing General Assembly of the 143rd Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) Conference being held in Madrid, Spain. While addressing the Assembly, the Speaker said that the Conference is very important for us as it resonates with many contemporary challenges, including those associated with the Covid-19 pandemic.

Speaker Asad Qaiser said that a quick scan of the global landscape reveals clear signs of democratic progress. He said that today’s globalized world has increasingly embraced democratic values and principles. All States, irrespective of their size and power, enjoy the right of sovereign equality in the global governance system, he stated adding that dialogue, consensus-building and cooperation are essential ingredients of our multilateral work and responses to an array of global challenges.

New and emerging technologies have unlocked access to a wealth of information, promoted transparency and opened new avenues of civic participation, he added. Highlighting the challenges, the Speaker said that global surge in populism threatens to submerge the core tenets of democracy as hate-based ideologies have fragmented societies and made intolerance inescapable.

He said disturbingly, populist leaders are dividing people to multiply votes through spreading misinformation and disinformation. This abuse of electoral processes and attack on human dignity is a huge disservice to the very idea of democracy, he added. He stated that might has become right and powerful States remain shielded from global accountability despite the advances in global democracy.

Mentioning a crucial challenge, he said that the widening gap between principles and practices resonates with the plight of the brave Kashmiri people. Since 5 August 2019, India, the occupying power has imposed, through the use of brute force, a range of illegal and unilateral measures upon Kashmiris, he stated adding that these measures are designed to alter demography of the UN-recognized disputed territory.

He declared that these measures are a clear contravention of the fundamental principles of democracy, rule of law and human rights. He lamented that in deference to their political and economic interests, many global champions of democracy and human rights are silent on Kashmir. He urged that this must end to enable the Kashmiris to exercise their democratic right to determine their future in line with UN resolutions.

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