June 20, 2024

The democracy summit in Washington beginning on Tuesday 28th march, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)  hosted a full-day, four-session event, led by Administrator Samantha Power, that highlights new approaches and partnerships that strengthen democracy, human rights, and governance.

Motive of summit

The first session will highlight USAID and our partners’ efforts to surge resources to reformers during democratic openings. Session two will feature USAID’s new People Centered Justice (PCJ) approach to Rule of Law programming, and will highlight the Rule of Law and People Centered Justice Multistakeholder Cohort’s Declaration and Call to Action. Session three will identify new approaches to addressing inequality and building trust in societies. Session four will focus on the work of the USG-led Financial Transparency and Integrity (FTI) Multistakeholder Cohort, including launching the Cohort’s Pledge and Call to Action, and will highlight how USAID is modernizing its support to anti-corruption reformers.

India and Pakistan Invited

Like the first democracy summit in 2021, both India and Pakistan have been invited to the summit. Pakistan had opted out of the first summit, reportedly on the back of the Biden administration’s refusal to reach out to the then-prime minister Imran Khan.
According to  Dawn newspaper reported from Washington that for the cash-starved Pakistan, the summit could be a major opportunity to win over the US support for raising funds from international lenders and bilateral donors. According to a media report,Pakistan’s diplomacy as the cash-strapped country would look to rekindle ties with the US without irking its longtime ally China.

Difficult decision for Pakistan

Pakistan’s long-standing ally and “all-weather friend” China would be closely monitoring these overtures as the US has already annoyed Beijing by inviting Taiwan, China’s long-standing nemesis. Beijing would want Pakistan to opt out of the “controversial” moot but doing so will send negative signals to the US at a time when Islamabad wants Washington to be on its side to help secure a deal with the International Monetary Fund.The decision to keep Turkiye, a close friend of Pakistan, out of the summit was another cause of concern for Islamabad. “One would expect Pakistan to pass again, assuming Taiwan is there, in deference to China,” said Michael Kugelman, a scholar of South Asian affairs at the Wilson Centre,Washington.“

While very unlikely, I wouldn’t completely rule out Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari making an appearance,” Kugelman said. “He’s been a very frequent visitor to the US lately.”When contacted, officials at the Pakistan Embassy in Washington told Dawn they had not heard anything from Islamabad yet. As India is world’s largest democracy,and always has  a positive approach towards each and every country.The US democratic summit will definitely bring some positive and fruitful results for all of us.

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सिंगापुर कोरोना की नई लहर से कोहराम! 

Vijay Laxmi Rai

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