–Experts say new phase of democracy has failed to carry forward past legacy in befitting manners
WASHINGTON: Renowned United States and Pakistan scholars met and unanimously set a fresh tone on critical issues of Afghan crisis, Pakistan-US multi-layered relations, Sino-Pak strategic partnership, Pak-India tension and latest democratic regression in Pakistan.
Participants agreed on rapid formation of a new phase of Afghanistan issue believing genesis of new phase would be much better than before.
Lauding the positive situation, they said it was happening as the international community as well as both foreign and regional powers had cultivated deep interests in the issue and longed for inclusive progress in the country.
Meanwhile, they were of the view that new phase may be improved one but it would be unfair to pin massive expectations with the emerging development.
They expressed their views in a seminar arranged by the Institute of International Relations and Media Research (IIRMR) Chairman Muhammad Mehdi at a local hotel.
Among others, discussants were Dr Marvin G Weinbaum, director of Afghanistan and Pakistan Studies, Middle East Institute.
Jamed Schwemlein, senior fellow of South Asia Program Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, James Ruper, senior fellow at the Institute for Peace USA, Dr Mansoor Ijaz, Asad Ch and Moyed Hussain Shah.
Speakers admitted that Pak-US relations were not up to mark in these days.
Their relations saw many highs and lows and now Pak-US trade trajectory would remain unchanged, they observed. US intelligentsia highlighted growing inadequacies in the latest democratic structure in Pakistan.
Comparing previous governance norms to new setup’s standards, they applauded the democratization process from 2008 to 2013 when one elected civilian government passed on powers to second elected democratic government.
During this period, they said, democratic trends and practices remained satisfactory. However, a new phase of democracy failed to carry forward past legacy in befitting manners, they pointed out.
They questioned repressive action on opposition parties in parliament and out of parliament and expressed apprehension on shrinking space for freedom of expression and human rights in the current democratic system in Pakistan.
Spotlighting Pakistan’s ties with the US and China, they were of the view that Pakistan failed to strike an appropriate balance of relations between the US and China.
Speakers had a consensus that US’s core interest in Pak-India row was nothing more than this that tension should have never gone out of control. Except this, America did not want to play any role over the smothering issue, they asserted.