Pakistan backs out of democracy summit


Ready to engage with US bilaterally

Pakistan has decided to not participate in the second Summit for Democracy and has chosen to engage with the United States and the co-hosts bilaterally, the Foreign Office said Tuesday.

World leaders will gather virtually this week for the US-organised summit, an event critics say illustrates the halting progress the Biden administration has made in advancing human rights and democracy as a focus of its foreign policy.

The US had extended an invitation to Pakistan to attend the two-day virtual summit, starting from Tuesday.

“The summit process is now at an advanced stage and therefore, Pakistan would engage bilaterally with the US and co-hosts of the summit to promote and strengthen democratic principles and values and work towards advancing human rights and the fight against corruption,” the FO said in its statement.

Starting Wednesday, the event involves 120 countries, civil society groups and technology companies and will include strategically important nations where rights groups have expressed concerns about the state of democracy, such as India, Poland and Israel.

Expressing gratitude to the US for inviting Pakistan, the Foreign Office said: “We are thankful to the United States and the co-host countries for inviting Pakistan to attend the Second Summit for Democracy being held on 29-30 March 2023.”