Summit for Democracy


Pakistan has refused to participate in the Summit for Democracy hosted by US President Joe Biden. “We are thankful to the United States for inviting Pakistan for participation in the Summit for Democracy. We remain in contact with the US on a range of issues and believe that we can engage on this subject at an opportune time in the future”, said the Foreign Office, while diplomatically declining the invite.

According to the official website of the State Department, US President Joe Biden will host a virtual summit for leaders of government, civil society and the private sector on December 9-10, 2021. The summit will focus on the challenges and opportunities faced by democracies and 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.

It is worth emphasizing that Pakistan was among the four South Asian countries (India, Maldives and Nepal) that were invited to the summit.

The reasons for the non-participation of Pakistan

The Hindu writes that Mr. Biden has not called Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan since he took office in January 2021. The lack of any contact, even though the US military and State Department are closely cooperating on Afghanistan, is viewed in Islamabad as a snub, and some in the Khan Government had reportedly suggested sending a nominee to the event or missing it altogether.

According to the Tribune, Pakistan’s move not to participate in the summit indicates the nature of the current relationship between Islamabad and Washington. During a briefing for lawmakers on Afghanistan last month, it was reported that relations between Pakistan and the United States are at their lowest. Pakistan also fears that Washington may impose sanctions on its ally China due to its human rights violations, the newspaper writes.

In support of the above opinion, TRT World writes that Pakistan’s decision was made amid disagreements between the two countries on many issues, including Afghanistan and Islamabad’s strategic partnership with China in recent years.

The Atlantic Council emphasizes that by choosing not to participate in this summit; Islamabad has undermined the work of many who have worked for years to deepen bilateral relations between Pakistan and the United States. Moreover, this decision will only empower those in Washington who have argued for years that engaging with Pakistan will not bring Washington any material benefits for national security.

Aim and objectives of the Summit for Democracy

The Russian news agency TASS writes that the Summit for Democracy looks more like a part of US foreign policy. With this event, America seems to be trying to consolidate its status as the most effective political model in the world. According to the agency, the selection of participants as a whole suggests that the summit welcomes primarily loyal and convenient partners for the United States, thereby dividing the world community into “friends” and “aliens”.

In turn, according to Anadolu Agency, the real goal of the summit organizers is to form a common vision of democracy that meets the interests of Washington. In this context, the agency writes that the White House’s initiative may become the first step towards the creation of an “International Democratic Coalition”, the true goal of which will be to put pressure on the opponents of the United States, especially Russia and China.


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