The Hudson Institute, a politically conservative non-profit American think tank founded in 1961, organized a very interesting August 7th event at their headquarters in Washington, DC. The panel included some of the latest insights from experts on elections in Pakistan. From the event description:
Pakistan has spent almost half of its 70 years as a nation under military rule and the rest under a semi-authoritarian democracy. Since 2008, Pakistan has ostensibly had civilian rule with a peaceful transfer of power in 2013. Analysts are hopeful that Pakistan’s 2018 election on July 25 will continue this trend of democratization.
Elections do not make a democracy. Yet free, fair, and inclusive elections are one of the pillars of a democratic nation. Most observers and analysts, both within and outside the country, have raised concerns about the influence of Pakistan’s military intelligence establishment on the July 25 general election.
On August 7, Hudson Institute’s South and Central Asia Program hosted a panel to discuss Pakistan’s 2018 elections. Panelists will include Professor C. Christine Fair, Provost’s Distinguished Associate Professor in the Peace and Security Studies Program at Georgetown University; Dr. Muhammad Taqi, a columnist for The Wire; and Ambassador Husain Haqqani, former Ambassador of Pakistan to the United States and director of South and Central Asia at Hudson Institute.
Speakers at the event included:
- Dr. C. Christine Fair Speaker – Provost’s Distinguished Associate Professor, Peace and Security Studies Program, Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University
- Dr. Mohammad Taqi Speaker – Assistant Professor, University of Florida
- Ambassador Husain Haqqani Speaker – Senior Fellow and Director, South and Central Asia, Hudson Institute
Freedom House, an “independent watchdog organization that supports democratic change, monitors the status of freedom around the world, and advocates for democracy and human rights” has rated Pakistan as Partly Free in Freedom in the World 2018, Freedom House’s annual global assessment of political rights and civil liberties, Not Free in Freedom of the Press 2018 and Not Free in Freedom on the Net 2018. According to that report:
Pakistan holds regular elections under a competitive multiparty political system. However, the military exerts enormous influence over security and other policy issues, intimidates the media, and enjoys impunity for indiscriminate or extralegal use of force. The authorities impose selective restrictions on civil liberties, and Islamist militants carry out attacks on religious minorities and other perceived opponents.
The event lasted for about an hour and 22 minutes. Watch here: