ISLAMABAD: Chairman Senate Muhammad Sadiq Sanjrani in his message on International Day of Democracy on Sunday, said democratic dispensation was not only pivotal to rule of law and basic human rights, but it was also a precursor and catalyst of sustainable peace and development since political institutions critical to economic development were more likely to exist and function effectively under democratic rule.

Likewise, improvement in political rights and civil liberties in democratic societies tend to produce much higher growth. Only democracy offered ground fertile enough to nurture deep-rooted freedom of expression, institutional checks and balances, and protection of individual liberties and rights.

He said the marking of 15 September as International Day of Democracy gives an opportunity to recall and reaffirm our commitment to realizing shared ideals of peace and stability, shared prosperity, human rights, equality, tolerance, pluralism, inclusiveness and good governance, as the key attributes and indicators of a robust democracy.

The Chairman Senate said that Pakistan celebrated the International Day of Democracy this year at the most defining moment in its history. Marked by an unmistakable progressive dynamism, Pakistan, despite challenges, was rising like phoenix as a responsible, peace-loving and democratic country committed to reinforcing democracy, ensuring peace, equality and justice for all.

Our national democratic ethos was firmly rooted in our Constitution which enshrined the ideals and principles of democracy, freedom, equality, tolerance and social justice, he expressed.

While talking about the role of Parliament, Sadiq Sanjrani remarked that today, our Parliament was far more connected, open and transparent due to its proactive public outreach and enhanced gender and youth inclusive approach.

In particular, the Upper House took challenges to democracy and Parliament in its stride and endeavored to turn over a new leaf of parliamentary and democratic excellence, Sanjrani added.

The Chairman Senate said as a symbol of democratic continuity, the Senate stands out for providing sober second thought and amplifying the genuine voices of diverse regions with democratic legitimacy.

The Upper House had gone the extra mile to strengthen democracy by building greater national cohesion, infusing solidarity among federating units, and maintaining the delicate equilibrium of giving equal representation to federating units, thereby strengthening both the federation and democracy, he said.

He said September 15 was an important occasion to review our progress, celebrate and reinforce achievements and make more conducive future course of action towards further augmenting democratization process, especially representative institutions, as also reaffirmed in the IPU's Universal Declaration of Democracy adopted in September 1997 in Cairo.

This is also the day of raising public awareness about democracy and its crucial link to people's well being, their aspirations and dreams of a better life, he concluded.