Pakistan excused itself on Tuesday from participating in the second Summit on Democracy being hosted by the United States, saying that the Summit is now at an "advanced stage" and that Pakistan would engage with the US and co-hosts bilaterally instead.
Foreign Office spokesperson Mumtaz Baloch reasoned in a statement that Pakistan has not been part of the Summit process, that 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," Baloch said in response to media queries in Islamabad.
Pakistan had diplomatically declined an invite to the democracy summit in 2021 as well.
Washington, however, was told that Pakistan values its friendship with the US and that the relationship has "widened and expanded substantially" under the Biden administration.
"We remain committed to further solidifying this relationship for peace, stability, and prosperity in the region," the FO spokesperson said.
She thanked the US and co-host countries for inviting Pakistan to attend the Second Summit for Democracy being held on March 29 and 30.
Baloch further stated that 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".
This month, the nation is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the 1973 Constitution that is the fountain of democratic polity in Pakistan," she added.
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