Pakistan ranks lower than Uganda and Zambia in The Economist’s Democracy Index

LONDON: Pakistan has been classified as a “Hybrid Regime” with a score of 4.31 and a position of 105 out of 167 countries in the latest Democracy Index published by The Economist.

The report has been produced by The Economist Intelligence Unit and is titled, “Democracy Index 2020, In sickness and in health?”.

The Democracy Index provides a realistic view of the state of democracy in 165 sovereign states which cover the vast majority of the world population.

Screenshot from The Economist’s Democracy Index. Source: The Economist.

According to the prestigious report which is trusted by governments, corporations and NGOs, Pakistan’s democracy is weaker than Uganda, Zambia and Sierra Leone, which all rank higher than Pakistan.

The Democracy Index considers five factors when giving a score and classification which include, electoral process and pluralism, the functioning of government, political participation, political culture, and civil liberties.

Countries are then classified as either a “full democracy”, “flawed democracy”, “hybrid regime” or “authoritarian regime”.

India, by comparison, ranks far higher than Pakistan, with a score of 6.61, at the 53rd position and classification as a “flawed democracy”. This is despite India’s increasing flirtation with fascism after Modi’s rise to power.

According to The Economist’s report, “In India, democratic norms have been under pressure since 2015. India’s score fell from a peak of 7.92 in 2014 to 6.61 in 2020 and its global ranking slipped from 27th to 53rd as a result of democratic backsliding under the leadership of Narendra Modi, a member of the Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), who became prime minister in 2014 and was re-elected for a second term in 2019.

“The increasing influence of religion under the Modi premiership, whose policies have fomented antiMuslim feeling and religious strife, has damaged the political fabric of the country. The enactment in December 2019 of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act 2019 continued to fuel riots in 2020, with several left dead following clashes in February in the capital city, New Delhi.”

Bangladesh, which was formerly East Pakistan also ranks far higher than Pakistan, at 5.99 at the 76th position. However, Bangladesh is also classified as a Hybrid Regime instead of a democracy, reflecting the Bangladeshi military’s increasing involvement in politics.

In Pakistan, journalist Kamran Khan has publicly used the term “Hybrid Regime”, for Prime Minister Imran Khan’s government, despite the fact that the Constitution of Pakistan states that Pakistan would be run as a parliamentary democracy.

More recently, Pakistan’s opposition has raised fears of the abolition of the 18th amendment, which gives provinces access to greater resources and also the installation of a Presidential form of government which will move Pakistan further away from democracy and towards a fully authoritarian state.

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