ISLAMABAD - To mark the International Day of Democracy, the Senate of Pakistan organised a special ceremony with the main theme “Dialogue and Inclusiveness-Central to Democracy” at Pakistan Institute of Parliamentary services (PIPS).

Senators and large number of students, media men and civil society representatives attended the ceremony. Acting Chairman Senate Sabir Ali Baloch was the chief guest on the occasion.

Acting Chairman Senate, Sabir Ali Baloch addressing the participants observed that solution to their problems lied in continuity of democracy and it was the best revenge in modern times. He said that undemocratic interventions in past not only jeopardised the development process but also weakened the foundations of democracy in the country. He further said the current democratic government fully realised its demotic responsibilities and took some bold initiatives to give democracy a chance to flourish.

Participation in the decision-making procures will improve the standard of life of common man, Sabir Baloch stated, urging the youth to come forward and actively participate in the dialogue on key issues to put the country on the track towards development. He said that the youth had a crucial role to play and they must come forward to understand the importance of democracy as a panacea to their troubles. 

Senators Osman Saifullah Khan, Dr Saeeda Iqbal and Moulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri also spoke on the occasion.

Senator Osman Saifullah Khan was of the view that democracy promoted good governance and provided an opportunity to advance these. He said that dialogue and inclusiveness played an important role in any democratic dispensation ensuring peace, human rights and development.  He quoted example of the 18th Constitutional Amendment and other steps of the government, saying that all the stakeholders were taken on board. “Give the citizens stakes in the process of development to get better results”, the Senator opined. 

Another speaker Senator Mrs. Saeeda Iqbal observed that both dialogue and inclusiveness helped promote understanding and it was through democracy that all segments of the society felt included in the process at national level. She observed that democratic forces of the country had struggled for restoration for true democratic system where people might have their voice heard. She thoroughly explained the democratic struggle of Quaid-e Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah who took all the stakeholders on board for creation of a separate state. Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, she said, also took the stakeholders on board and gave a consensus document in the shape of 1973 Constitution. 

Moulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri, in his speech said that that dictatorships had shaken the very foundations of democracy and because of this it could not take roots in the country. He said that dialogue was the solution to their problems. “Issues can not be resolved through force”, Moulana Ghafoor Haideri stated.

Responding to various questions from the participants, Senator Sabir Ali Baloch and other senators said that Pakistan was faced with challenges on many fronts. The menace of terrorism aggravated their economic situation and has stalled the development process but the government has made all out effort to address the issues by taking major initiatives, they said. It was observed that continuity of the democratic system was must to search out a viable solution to their problems. It is a sustained and painstaking work, however, inclusive dialogue will help us to move forward and rid the country of the challenges being faced on social and economic fronts.

Earlier, Special Secretary Senate, Amjed Pervez Malik gave a detailed presentation highlighting the importance of the day and said that the initiative would help us understand the importance of democracy and would also help the students to understand the struggle made for upholding the rule of law and democracy in the country.