The Mediators Issue Charter Of Democracy And Peoples' Rights

The Mediators Issue Charter Of Democracy And Peoples' Rights
The Mediators, over 100 civil society organisations and progressive-democratic and left formations, agree to form a broad coalition for the defense of democracy and peoples’ rights with the name of ‘Citizens for Democracy and Peoples’ Rights’.

These groups have agreed to pursue a Charter of Democracy and Peoples’ Rights which emphasises undiluted democracy, a cooperative federation, civilian supremacy and fundamental rights.

The ‘Charter of Democracy and Peoples’ Rights’ is as follows:

  1. Uphold the sovereignty of the peoples of federating units exercised through free and fair franchise, the supremacy of a bicameral legislature with equal powers, cooperative federation ensuring equal rights of the provinces, separation of powers among the three pillars of the state to be further defined by the Constitution, consistent democracy and universally recognized fundamental human, civil, political, social and economic rights, and above all wellbeing of all oppressed and exploited peoples without any distinction or discrimination on any basis.

  2. Promote enlightenment, progressive socio-economic and non-communal democratic agenda ensuring peoples’ economic, human, political, social and environmental rights, exploited working classes. religious/ethnic minorities and women in particular, as its core overriding commitment.

  3. Reject all parochial, communal, patriarchal, fascist, terrorist, religious/racial extremist, militarist and authoritarian tendencies undermining people's cohesion and their legitimate interests and equitable just human progress without any discrimination, repression and exploitation.

  4. Uphold alternative path of progressive and people-centered socio-economic and environment-friendly sustainable growth, all-encompassing human security spread evenly across all federating units, benefiting exploited and oppressed people in particular. Bridge the gap between rich and the poor by introducing land reforms, making urban mafias accountable, tax all incomes, including agriculture, withdrawal of all exemptions and subsidies to businesses, taxing traders, targeted subsidies to those living in abject poverty and focusing on poverty eradication, giving priority to social sectors and human resource development. Raising minimum living wage to cover inflation and devaluation to at least Rs 50,000.

  5. Restructuring of a ‘National Security State’ and reversing the colonial legacy of the supremacy of civil-military authoritarian establishment to move towards a peaceful, welfare state ensuring the human security and dignity with the peoples as the real sovereign. De-civilianisation, De-corporatization, De-politicisation of armed forces and an end to grabbing civilian space, urban and rural lands, state resources, businesses and corporations. Defining the scope and limitations of intelligence agencies and their accountability.

  6. Democratisation of state institutions and society based on historic multi-cultural roots and ethnicities in a an equally participatory federation, which upholds fundamental, human, civil, economic and social rights and liberties of all the peoples without any discrimination on the bases of gender, ethnicity, community and religiosity. Constitutionally Devolving power, in letter and spirit of the 18th Amendment, to the provinces by closing all ministries and divisions still continuing at the federal level and effectively placing all countywide corporations at the disposal of the Council of Common Interests and restructuring of revenues and civil bureaucracy and para-military forces in a federalist spirit. Further devolving power, including resources and finances, from the provincial tier to the District and grassroots level through an elaborate constitutional amendment to ensure the empowerment of people through governance at their doorsteps.

  7. Move towards universal literacy, quality free-education and universal healthcare, eradication of poverty and bonded and underpaid labour, guaranteeing gainful employment for all, sustainable and inclusive economic growth, modernisation and emancipation from deprivation and exploitation.

  8. Effectively and comprehensively address the grievances, deprivations, alienations of all oppressed nationalities, Baluch, Sindhi, Pashtun, Seraiki and other ethnic groups and bringing an end to military operations and their witch-hunt and plight of ‘missing persons’. Creation of South Punjab Province.

  9. Judicial reforms to make justice promptly and cheaper, including the bipartisan appointment of judges on merit through parliamentary hearings, institutionally regulating Article 184 (3) Sue Moto jurisdiction by Full Supreme Court, judicial restraint on ‘judicial activism’ not to intrude or jeopardize executive’s domain and parliament’s sovereign legislative prerogatives, abolition of 19th Amendment. Establishment of a Federal Constitutional Court, representing equally all federating units and dissolution of Federal Shariat Court.

  10. Ensure freedom of expression, cultural and religious diversity in a multi-cultural and multi-religious state, lifting of state censorship on all media platforms, due process of law and withdrawal of all black and discriminatory laws not consistent with universal human rights laws. Delete Clause 2(1)(d) of Pakistan Army Act 1952 to prohibit trial of civilians by military courts. Restore student unions and strengthen trade unions.

  11. Elimination of all patriarchal, feudal and archaic customs, prejudices and discriminations on the basis of gender and against women and ensure their equal participation in all spheres of life.

  12. Pakistan is environmentally under immense threat from global environmental and ecological crisis in an Anthropocene age and metabolic rupture between nature and man at the hands of multinational corporations. Expansion of concrete jungles of chaotic urbanization, erosion of organic rural communities, deforestation, desertification, melting of glaciers, higher population growth, waste, air pollution, an unsustainable model of growth and luxurious consumption have further reinforced this crisis. A wholistic sustainable and nature-friendly organic model of growth to build better and resilient communities, an elaborate plan for population planning, and eradication of poverty and backwardness will have to be developed and implemented.

  13. Pursue an independent foreign policy and bringing an end to all proxy wars, jingoism, terrorism while pursuing peace, solidarity and cooperation across South and West Asian regions and broader Eurasia, with neighbours in particular, and rejecting hegemonism and an imperialistic unequal exchange at the global level and new Cold War.