Summit for U.S. styled Democracy

President Joe Biden has called a virtual summit on democracy, but, has invited only chosen democracies, not all well-established democracies. Since its inception, the idea inviting only of like-minded nations was valid proof of evil designs. Of course, it is the intentions, which decide good or bad outcomes. It is believed that the intention was to divide the world and polarize it further.

By not inviting Turkey, Iran, Egypt, etc. well-established democracies, has just revealed the purpose of the summit. In fact, the US has been exposed further by attempting to divide and rule.

What is American styled democracy? Having recently abandoned Afghanistan to an Islamist autocracy and famine, and now finalizing a $650 million arms sale to Saudi Arabia, President Joe Biden thought it would be a fine idea to hold a two-day virtual gathering on democracy, where some of its worst offenders could pose as responsible upholders of freedom and dispense homilies on how to save the world from those like themselves.

Although According to the State Department, the goal is to “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.” The online forum, it says, will solicit “bold, practicable ideas” on the themes of “defending against authoritarianism,” “fighting corruption,” and “promoting respect for human rights.” But actually, it was aimed for quite different purposes.

There was no reason as to why some countries that are far from democratic have been invited. More than 30 percent of the 110 invited countries are classified by U.S.-based non-profit Freedom House as only “partly free.” Three are “not free” at all—Angola, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Iraq. More than a dozen are classified by Sweden’s V-Dem Institute as “electoral autocracies” including the Philippines, India, and Kenya.

 Some of the omissions from the participant list are as puzzling as the inclusions. It’s not clear, for example, why strongmen like India’s Modi, the Philippines’ Duterte, and Brazil’s Bolsonaro made the cut, but Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan, President Sisi of Egypt, Iran, etc.,  didn’t when all of them have been wrecking democratic institutions in their respective countries with equal vigor. 

Pakistani Prime Minister, Imran Khan, declared his country had no intention of becoming a part of any political bloc. The world suffered heavily because of Cold War, he said, and Pakistan did not want to get trapped in a new one. As a matter of fact, the world has suffered a lot during the cold war era. Now, the people have realized the harms of the cold war, and do not want to repeat the same mistake again. No matter how much the White House talks about democracy, the gathering is really about creating a coalition against China and Russia. Think the QUAD alliance, but on an industrial scale.

Take India. Less than 20 percent of the world’s population now lives in a “Free” country, Freedom House says—and this is because the world’s most populous democracy, with its 1.3 billion people, is now only considered “Partly Free.” India’s descent into authoritarianism has intensified in recent years under Modi. His government, to quote Freedom House’s Freedom in the World 2021 report, caused a “dangerous and unplanned displacement of millions of internal migrant workers” through a “ham-fisted lockdown” during the pandemic, and “encouraged the scapegoating of Muslims, who were disproportionately blamed for the spread of the virus and 

India is the typical example, which has exceeded all records of human rights violations. Discrimination, injustice, and corruption have become normal routines. The state is promoting violence against minorities and lower-caste Hindus. Instead of protection, minorities and lower castes are deprived of being equal citizen rights. Police, security forces, and the judiciary are biased and working on the RSS agenda – transform India into a “pure Hindu State” where only elite, Brahmans enjoy the right to rule.

The US is also not much different in the case of Human Rights violations, discrimination, and injustice. The civil unrest, Capitol Hill incident, Black lives matter, racist policies against the yellow race, Muslims, etc., all are examples of the worst form of democracy. No surprise then that 85% of Americans now say their political system needs to change. They are thoroughly disillusioned with their governing structures, and it’s not because China and Russia promise a better alternative and have successfully conspired to erode trust in democracy. It’s because of what democracies have done to themselves. Globally, the share of individuals who say they are “dissatisfied” with democracy has jumped from 47.9% in the mid-1990s to 57.5%—“the highest level of democratic discontent on record,” finds a study by the University of Cambridge based on a data set of more than 4 million people across 154 countries.

Israel is the worst example of democracy, which has been a defaulter of UN resolutions on Palestinian and kept on occupying Arab lands.

In many cases, the Western-style democracy is purchased with money, irrespective of black money or honestly hard-earned money, the elections are manipulated and even a person like ex-President Donald Trump can be elected. In many European countries, so many politicians are elected based on their money, irrespective of their caliber or intellect.

In developing countries, the cases of abnormalities are even more. The true democracy is fading out. Even, the US is playing double standards in respect of democracy. The US removed Iranian legitimate democratically elected Prime Minister Musaddaq in the 1950s. They also removed legitimate elected President Adil Morsey in Egypt. But supporting Dictators in Oil-Rich Gulf states and in other parts of the world. Installing puppets like Hamid Karzai and Ashraf Ghani in Afghanistan is an American style of democracy, which is neither acceptable by their own people nor the rest of the world. We should condemn the bogus democracies and installed puppets democracies.

Under this scenario, holding Democracy Summit on December 9-10, 2021, is a Nobel idea and must be appreciated. However, the hypocrisy of the US, by not inviting some of the well-established democratic nations like Turkey is beyond understanding.  It reveals that the intentions of the Summit are not to serve the Democracy, but, make a new block. The World is divided already, and cannot afford any further division. There is a need to promote harmony, understanding, and unity.

No doubt, Pakistan is passing through many challenges, but, the state of democracy in Pakistan is yet in much better form. We may not claim a perfect democracy, but, there is a strong will to improve it gradually. Pakistan promotes true democracy and struggling hard to achieve it soon.

Pakistan stands with democracy and joins all efforts to promote its true spirit. But would not waste its energy, where it feels a futile exercise. Looking forward to an opportunity, where Pakistan can play a vital role in promoting true democracy. Pakistan wanted to be a neutral, non-aligned, and free & independent nation.

Prof. Engr. Zamir Ahmed Awan
Prof. Engr. Zamir Ahmed Awan
Prof. Engr. Zamir Ahmed Awan, Sinologist (ex-Diplomat), Non-Resident Fellow of CCG (Center for China and Globalization), National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST), Islamabad, Pakistan.