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Political parties must act responsibly for democracy’s sake: HRCP

Lahore: The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has expressed serious concern at looming dangers for the democratic dispensation in the country and called upon the political parties to realise their responsibility to avert threats to democracy.

The HRCP Policy Planning Committee, the highest policy making body of HRCP, which met here urged the political parties to ensure a smooth transfer of power and to beware of those who wanted to install a democratic façade without elected representatives and democracy without the electoral process.

HRCP said in a statement following the meeting, “The political parties must realise the gravity of the situation and the challenges it poses to the sustenance of the democratic dispensation. They must know that their present attitude is not helping. Endemic corruption and poor governance have lost political parties considerable support and half-baked and misdirected policies for short-term gains are also harming the political process. The political parties must know that tendency to either be passive spectators or indulge in meaningless fighting among themselves is not going to lead to positive developments. The present contentious issues can neither be resolved through force nor judicial action alone. The stakes are high for all and unpredictability at this juncture is aggravating the state of lawlessness, ethnic and sectarian killings as well as impunity for those killings. This is a watershed moment for the country and there is little doubt that we have reached the edge of the precipice. The answer to the challenges for democracy lies in expressing confidence in the electoral process and in the establishment of a consensus caretaker setup. HRCP hopes and expects that the political parties will realise their responsibility and will not become party to any scheme to take away the people’s right to elect their representatives.”

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