Time running out for transition to a functional democracy!


PILDAT releases Annual Quality of Democracy Report 2023

January 02; PILDAT, while releasing its Quality of Democracy Report for 2023, said that Democracy in Pakistan was stuck in a familiar and deepening rut at the end of 2023. The past year had only made the hoped transition towards improved democracy that much harder for the country now called an electoral autocracy by some international democracy rating think tanks.

PILDAT pointed out that remedies and lessons are obvious but the people who have the power and capacity to pull the country out of the rut have not taken the right steps for the last ‘seventy years’, borrowing the phrase of former Chief of Army Staff, Gen. (Retired) Qamar Javed Bajwa used while referring to his institution’s interference in the country’s political affairs. PILDAT believes that the transition could be initiated with a simple change of perspective and by marshalling the required will be followed by purposeful consultations in the National Security Committee.

PILDAT reminded that as an organisation consisting of Pakistanis for the betterment of Pakistan’s democracy, PILDAT had been advising the decision-makers consistently to do the right thing by the Constitution for over two decades. PILDAT counsel, and efforts of capacity-building and engagement with political parties have also been directed for the same purpose.

PILDAT cautioned that deferring course correction, may not be an option much longer. Dragging feet on urgently needed return to constitutionalism may be a luxury the country of young Pakistanis can hardly afford.

PILDAT advised that the only option available was to urgently design and execute a transition from the so called hybrid system to a normal functional democracy. PILDAT, however, wondered whether the coming election and the post-election arrangement would provide a flip to move in that direction? ‘It is difficult to be optimistic but on the first day of new year, we re-dedicate ourselves to continue working for a democratic Pakistan despite the challenges on the horizon’ PILDAT concluded.

PILDAT has been regularly publishing its Annual Quality of Democracy Report since 2002.

PILDAT report covers the following well-researched sections in its report:

  • Reincarnation of Populists
  • How May 09 shaped Pakistan’s Troubled Democracy?
  • The Saga of 12th General Election
  • Parliamentary Performance
  • The Credibility of the ECP
  • Transition at the Supreme Court
  • Free Media under Siege
  • Trials of Civilians under Military Courts
  • Role of the President
  • A Hybrid Regime or Optical Illusion?