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Pak downgraded, now classified as ‘authoritarian regime’

Pak downgraded

Pakistan’s score on Democracy Index fell by 0.88 to 3.25, resulting in fall of 11 places in global ranking table

DNA

LONDON: Pakistan has been downgraded to an “authoritarian regime” in the Economist Intelligence Unit’s (EIU) Democracy Index 2023 report, registering the greatest deterioration of any country in the region classified as “Australia and Asia”.

The EIU Democracy Index provides a snapshot of the state of democracy in 165 independent states and two territories.

Of the 28 countries in the region that are included in the index, 15 recorded a decline in their score and only eight registered an improvement.

Pakistan’s score on the Democracy Index fell by 0.88 to 3.25, resulting in a fall of 11 places in the global ranking table, to 118th.

The EIU report mentioned that alongside meddling in the electoral process and government dysfunction, the independence of the judiciary has been severely curtailed in the country.

Pakistan is the only Asian country to be downgraded, having been reclassified from a “hybrid regime” to an “authoritarian regime”.

Pakistan’s score on the democracy index remained a little over 4 since 2008. It was for the first in 2023 that the country’s score tumbled to 3.25 during the coalition government primarily comprising of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and Jamait Ulema-e-Islam Fazl (JUI-F).  

Interestingly, Pakistan’s 2023 score on the democracy index is even worse than 2006 (3.92) when military ruler Gen (retd) Pervez Musharraf was at the helm of the affairs. 

Speaking to Geo.tv, Pakistan Institue of Legislative Development and Transparency (Pildat) Ahmed Bilal Mehboob termed Pakistan’s downgrading as “disappointing”.

“This is a very disappointing development as Pakistan has scored the lowest since 2017 and our category has also been downgraded from a hybrid regime’ to an authoritarian regime,” he added.

He also urged all stakeholders to “undertake serious soul searching at this state of affairs”.

Democratic standards across the world fell in 2023 amid the spread of wars, authoritarian crackdowns and declining levels of trust in mainstream political parties, the EIU said.

The number of countries classified as democracies increased by two, to 74, in 2023. However, measured by other metrics, the year was not an auspicious one for democracy, as per the report.






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