Rise of extremism dangerous for country, moot told

Karachi: The rise of extremism in Pakistan and the state’s policy of appeasement with non state actors is a threat not only to the future of democracy but also to the very existence of this country, Zohra Yousuf chairperson of Human rights commission of Pakistan said.

She was speaking to an international conference organized by Area Study Centre for Europe, University of Karachi in collaboration with Hanns Seidel Foundation, Islamabad.

Owais Tauhid, a senior journalist highlighted the challenges which Pakistani media is facing. He said that media is still under restrictions. Over 100 journalists have been killed so far including American journalist Daniel Pearl. The banned militant organizations also pressurize media.

Jami Chandio, Executive Director of Centre for Peace and Civil Society discussed the role of civil society in strengthening democracy. We need to develop a culture of acceptance, he said.

Ms Zeenia Satti, Political Analyst discussed the important and strategic position of Egypt. She said that China Egypt relations were rapidly improving in the last years of Hosni Mubarak. This was undesirable for US. USA is not happy that Egypt is going out of its sphere of influence. A joint military operation of Egypt and Israeli forces in the Sinai region is also expected, she added.

Discussing the problems of immigrants, Dr. Azra Talat Sayeed, executive director of Roots for Equity, Karachi said that people have sought immigration to various parts of the world including Europe to overcome their dire circumstances in which they are living in their home countries.

The rising cost of living along with increasing unemployment in Europe as well has led to various biases along ethnic and religious lines and various forms of phobias against immigrants, she added.

Deputy Head of mission of embassy of Hungary, Janos Lastofka discussed the challenges to democracy in Eastern Europe.

He gave a detailed account of the history of Hungary throughout the Soviet occupation. He said that it takes 6 weeks to make a constitution, 6 months to implement and 60 years for democracy to take roots.

The policy of Hungarian government towards the Hungarian population living in other countries is that they dialogue with other governments to extend the minority rights over Hungarian population living in their countries, he said while answering a question.

In concluding remarks of the conference ambassador retired Shahid Amin said that democracy may have many flaws but it is yet the best system. We need to create a conducive environment where democracy could grow with its core, he added.

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