Pakistan, India rank poor in democratic freedom: US watchdog


The political and civil rights declined in 65 countries including Pakistan and India while countries like the United States (US), Russia, and China are also feeling trapped due to the global assault on freedom of expression, according to a US-based watchdog.

Freedom House annual report titled “Democracy in Retreat” said the failure of political rights and civil liberties is recorded in 65 countries including Pakistan and India while 50 countries were marked as safe.

The report was regarded as a clear picture of democracy and freedom around the world.

Apart from India and Pakistan, the political and civil rights suffered in Singapore, Philippines, Israel, Austria, Bangladesh, Poland, Portugal, Senegal, Brazil, Romania, Hungary, Turkey, Venezuela, Myanmar etc.

The countries around the world were divided into three sections free, partly free and not free countries. Pakistan along with Bangladesh was put under the partly free section.

The report revealed that global freedom recorded a significant fall, this year. The global change in the form of civil rights violation has also captured nations like the US, China, and Russia. The drastic fall in global freedom seems to magnify each year and poses threat to democratic rights. With the rise in the incidence of attacks on the judiciary, the media, and electoral mechanisms, the global freedom is slowly dissolving.

The global assault on freedom can be stopped by boosting democracy internally and extending support to the world. All the countries must commit to protect and preserve global freedom. The report recommends a framework where democratic countries around the world can protect essential values like powerful laws, enhanced educational investment, stopping foreign interference in countries internal matters and also preventing the spread of misleading information.

According to the report, digital technology has provided multiple ways to access data or information. With a lot of misleading information available on social media platforms, there must be growth in sense of responsibility as far as social media platforms are concerned.

The report on political and civil rights must be sighted in light of United Nations guiding principles on human rights. The technology sector, in particular, can play a major role in maintaining a peaceful scenario through digital security and censorship based on Artificial Intelligence.

The Freedom House is a US government-funded NGO that describes itself as a “clear voice for democracy and freedom around the world” although critics have stated that the organisation is biased towards US interests.