Journalists, civil society vow to protect democracy
ISLAMABAD: Journalists, members of civil society organisations and traders on Wednesday maintained that the greatest threat to democracy always comes from politically sick-minded persons and pledged that they would go to every extent to protect democracy in the country.
Addressing a ‘Pro-Democracy Camp’ set up in front of the National Press Club (NPC) by the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ), they said nobody had the right to destabilise or threaten the democratic process for personal political gains. They chanted slogans in favour of democracy carrying banners and placards reading ‘Save Democracy: Save Pakistan’ and ‘Love Democracy: Love Pakistan’.
The PFUJ President Afzal Butt, speaking on the occasion, said it was the collective responsibility of both the government and the opposition parties to protect democracy because the people had rendered numerous sacrifices for its restoration in Pakistan.
“The journalist community will continue to play its role as a torchbearer for the protection of the democratic institutions in Pakistan. Our journalists who are already facing
potential threats from various segments have come forward and vowed to resist those circles that are hatching conspiracies against democracy,” he said.
Reputed journalist Mazhar Abbas also underlined the need to adopt such policies that can steer the country towards progress and prosperity, adding “The democracy is the only system that can be successful but it needs continuity otherwise it cannot get strengthened in Pakistan.”
Rawalpindi Islamabad Union of Journalists (RIUJ) secretary general Bilal Dar said they have rendered sacrifices for democracy and would not allow anyone to derail it. “The people of Pakistan have become politically mature and they know those forces that are conspiring against the democratic institutions,” he said.
Rawalpindi Islamabad Bureau Journalists Association (RIBJA) president Amir Butt said every political party has the right to exercise its democratic right but it should not do anything that can pose threat to democracy.
Senator Robina Khalid said all mainstream political parties stand united and would resist any undemocratic move because Pakistan now cannot stand with any new misadventure.Prominent actor and human rights activist Jamal Shah who is on hunger strike for sake of democracy said it is really unfortunate that whenever political process moves forward some thing unusual start happening with a hidden purpose of derailing democracy in the country.
“I appeal to the government and all the political parties to put in their best efforts to strengthen democracy because it is the only way to achieve our targets,” he said. Social activist Naeem Mirza said when the democratic process starts gaining ground the anti-democracy segments raise their heads and halt the way of the democratic forces in the country.
“The elected government should live up to the expectations of the people but if it fails to deliver it does not mean that people start posing threats to whole democratic process,” he said.Those who spoke on the occasion included social activists Rabia Hadi, Alia Mirza and Farzana Bari, president Pims Employees Union Ch Muhammad Riaz, President Traders Association (G-11 Markaz), Ch Waqas, President Traders Wing (G-9) Ch Saeed and president Traders Committee (F-8 Markaz) Dr Malik Bashir.
They said the people of Pakistan want democratically strong country where they can exercise their democratic rights envisaged in the constitution and raise their voice at all available forums.