ISLAMABAD: In a repeat of 2021, Pakistan once again opted out of the US Second Summit for Democracy, but underlined that it valued its friendship with the United States which under the Biden Administration, saw the relationship widening and expanding substantially.
While thanking Washington for the invitation, the Foreign Office in its response said that Pakistan has not been a part of the summit process, which commenced in 2021 and required countries to make certain national commitments. “The summit process is now at an advanced stage and therefore, Pakistan would engage bilaterally with the United States and co-hosts of the summit to promote and strengthen democratic principles and values and work towards advancing human rights and the fight against corruption,” Washington was told.
It is no secret though the Foreign Office does not mention it that Pakistan like in 2021, chose to stand by its trusted regional allies China and Turkiye, which have not been invited to the Summit of Democracy.
Pakistan’s decision now that bilateral relations between Islamabad and Washington are improving was not an easy one, but the consensus after several meetings with various stakeholders was that once again it should opt out.
“We are thankful to the United States and the co-host countries for inviting Pakistan to attend the Second Summit for Democracy being held on 29-30 March 2023.
As a vibrant democracy, the people of Pakistan are deeply committed to democratic values and generations of Pakistanis time after time have upheld their faith in democracy, human rights and fundamental freedoms,” added the Foreign Office.
It pointed out that as it celebrates its 50th anniversary this month, of the 1973 Constitution which is the “fountain of a democratic polity in Pakistan”, it remained committed to further solidifying this relationship for peace, stability, and prosperity in the region.
Meanwhile, while taking note of some harsh remarks against Pakistan by Indian External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar in Bengaluru, the spokeswoman at the Foreign Office said, “These remarks reflect Indian leadership’s unhealthy obsession with Pakistan.
Having failed in their efforts to malign and isolate Pakistan on the diplomatic front, Indian leaders have now assumed the role of armchair pundits. While focusing on Pakistan, they very conveniently overlook the developments in their own country where the social fabric is being ripped apart by the rise of an extremist Hindutva ideology.”
She also pointed out that the list of India’s internal failings is quite extensive and growing. India should focus on addressing them, instead of picking faults with Pakistan.
“The sermons from India have no takers either in Pakistan or in countries around the world.
These unwarranted remarks serve no purpose but put additional strain on bilateral relations and further vitiate the prospects for peace in South Asia,” she said.