Pakistan decides to skip US President Biden’s democracy summit

Prime Minister Khan to launch agri projects in Bahawalpur

ISLAMABAD – Pakistan announced on Wednesday that it will skip the Summit for Democracy, being held by US President Joe Bide on 9-10 December 2021.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a statement thanked Washington for inviting Pakistan to the moot.

“Pakistan is a large functional democracy with an independent judiciary, vibrant civil society, and a free media. We remain deeply committed to further deepening democracy, fighting corruption, and protecting and promoting human rights of all citizens. In recent years, Pakistan has instituted wide-ranging reforms aimed at advancing these goals. These reforms have yielded positive results,” read the statement.

Pakistan values its partnership with the U.S. and wishes to expand both bilaterally as well as in terms of regional and international cooperation.

“We remain in contact with the U.S. on a range of issues and believe that we can engage on this subject at an opportune time in the future,” it said.

Pakistan will, meanwhile, continue to support all efforts aimed towards strengthening dialogue, constructive engagement, and international cooperation for the advancement of our shared goals.

Last month, Biden sent invitations to around 110 countries including Pakistan for the Summit for Democracy to be held virtually.

The US State Department had also shared the list of invitees to the summit scheduled for December 9-10. The current mix of invitees includes liberal democracies, weaker democracies, and several states with authoritarian rule.

However, the Biden administration has invited China, its arch-rival, Turkey, and several others countries.

According to the breakdown of the invitations, European Union leads the world where 39 nations have received invitations, followed by 27 invitees from the Western Hemisphere. The Asia Pacific and Sub-Saharan Africa regions received twenty-one and seventeen invitations, respectively.

On the other hand, fewer countries have been invited from the Middle East and North Africa and South and Central Asia. From Central Asia, Pakistan, India, Maldives and Nepal has obtained the invitations to the virtual summit.

On December 9-10, 2021, President Biden will host the virtual summit for leaders from government, civil society, and the private sector. The summit will focus on challenges and opportunities facing democracies and will provide a platform for leaders to announce both individual and collective commitments, reforms, and initiatives to defend democracy and human rights at home and abroad.

For the United States, the summit will offer an opportunity to listen, learn, and engage with a diverse range of actors whose support and commitment is critical for global democratic renewal. It will also showcase one of democracy’s unique strengths: the ability to acknowledge its imperfections and confront them openly and transparently, so that we may, as the United States Constitution puts it, “form a more perfect union.”

Leaders will be encouraged to announce specific actions and commitments to meaningful internal reforms and international initiatives that advance the Summit’s goals.

These pledges will include domestic and international initiatives that counter authoritarianism, combat corruption, and promote respect for human rights.

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