The Group was unanimous in the firm belief that the way forward for Pakistan is to sustain, refine and strengthen the democratic system. Disappointment at the performance of elected legislatures and governments in a particular phase cannot become the justification for abandoning the democratic process, believed the Group.
It is the next phase that becomes the far more formidable challenge, believed the Democracy Assessment Group. The chief challenge is of translating new Constitutional framework and consensus sanctified on paper into concrete, practical, visible benefits for the citizens and to use democracy to conduct comprehensive reforms, to significantly improve governance, ensure transparency and accountability, and enforce the rule of law without fear or favour. If democracy continues to be used to perpetuate corruption and nepotism, prolong malpractices and mis-governance, it is not just democracy which will face old or new threats but the very existence of Pakistan will be put at grave risk, the Group opined.
A detailed Executive Summary containing detailed Score Card, Members of the Democracy Assessment Group, can be downloaded here.
A complete report on Mid-Term Assessment of the Quality of Democracy in Pakistan is planned to be released on September 25, 2010, the day the elected political Government completes 2 ˝ year of its 5 year term.
The Score Card was released today by the Democracy Assessment Group at a National Consultative Workshop and Media Briefing. A cross-section of society including MPs, political parties, analysts, youth, labour and other groups participated.
This is the first time that the Democracy Assessment framework has been used to evaluate democracy in Pakistan. This review, therefore, provides a baseline on the subject on a criteria that is internationally comparable. This review, to be carried out periodically in Pakistan by PILDAT, should therefore, be viewed as a work-in-progress. The framework used to assess the quality of democracy in Pakistan is a tool to promote democratic reform. The framework does not assess the government alone but assesses the entire society looking at how democratic is the country and society of which the Government is a part.
PILDAT gratefully acknowledges the support and cooperation of the Democracy Assessment Group. PILDAT sought and received partial support of the Foundation for the Future in carrying out the assessment of democracy which it gratefully acknowledges.