ISLAMABAD - Hundreds of people who attended Aman Ittehad National Convention in Islamabad demanded continued and stronger democracy, electoral reform, improved justice provision, and increased tolerance in the society.
Delegates included farmers, labourers, students, academics, lawyers, activists, and journalists from different parts of the country including Mithi, Ghotki, Karachi, Hyderabad, Sukkur, Khuzdar, Kharan, Quetta, Loralai, Killa Saifullah, Bhakkar, Multan, Lahore, Sahiwal, Taxila, Kohistan, Mardan, Peshawar, Abbottabad, D.I. Khan, Tank, and FATA, says a press release issued here by Aman Ittehad.
“Pakistan faces many challenges today. The trust deficit between state and citizens is growing.
At this critical time, citizens must remain involved in political processes and assert their demand for stronger and more representative democracy,” said Ali Asghar Khan, who heads Aman Ittehad’s national secretariat.
“People may perceive that democracy has not delivered, but only democratic governance allows space for people’s participation,” said Irfan Mufti while presenting public recommendations made in four provincial conventions held from 11-20 June.
Assemblies, it was demanded, must not just be elected, but they must also be representative. “Parliamentarians must deliver so that public faith in democracy is maintained,” said veteran journalist Syed Talat Husain.
Electoral reforms were also demanded. “Proportional representation will ensure that ordinary citizens can also enter the electoral contest,” said Karamat Ali. Reserved seats for women, labourers, peasants and minorities were also demanded. “We must use our right to vote and use it wisely,” said Maryam Bibi.
It was stressed that political parties must award tickets to deserving and not “electable,” candidates.
“Elections must be free and fair. Involvement of intelligence agencies in the electoral contest or its results must not be allowed,” said Supreme Court advocate, Salman Raja.
He stressed that law must be applied uniformly if public confidence in state institutions is to be rebuild.
Tolerance and mutual respect among citizens must be promoted, and diversity must be celebrated.
Any attempt to enforce uniformity must be rejected. Reform in justice provision systems is required. Reduced military spending was demanded and funds redirected to deal with the energy crisis and provide healthcare, education and jobs to people.
A poem by Ahmad Faraz was recited by the legendary poet’s son, Shibli Faraz. The Convention’s programme concluded with performance by Saeen Zahoor.