ISLAMABAD - On the eve of the International Democracy Day falling today former President Asif Ali Zardari has cautioned the people against a new form of threat to democracy namely assault on it in the name of democracy itself.

In a message, Zardari said that democracy was much more than mere holding elections periodically to distribute political power among parties and individuals. Constitutionalism, rule of law and tolerance to dissent and disagreement are essential ingredients of a democratic culture, he added.

The enemies of democracy keep changing guise and tactics. From direct assault on democracy witnessed in the past to the doctrine of necessity to the so-called legal framework order and provisional constitutional orders (PCOs) democracy today is threatened by intolerance on the one hand and assault on it in the name of democracy on the other. There is also a great threat to democracy from the militant mindset seeking to impose their extremist agenda through force, he said.

Democracy also calls for state institutions to work strictly within their constitutional domain and no state organ is allowed to trespass the jurisdiction of another state organ, he said.

The Democracy Day this year is dedicated to the youth. As the largest segment of the society the youth represent the hope and the promise of Pakistan. We need to engage the youth for the fulfillment of democratic ideals and dreams, he said.

Congratulating the democratic forces in the world in general and in Pakistan in particular on the International Day of Democracy the former President expressed the hope that the celebrations today would enhance the awareness of people of Pakistan to the new forms of threats to democracy and guard against them.