South Asians for Human Rights

Promoting Democracy, Upholding Human Rights

Academics and rights activists on Monday called for instituting some tools for implementing the SAARC charter of democracy by the member states.

They came up with the view at a consultation on SAARC Democracy Charter Citizen’s Initiative which was drafted from citizen’s perspective by think tanks in South Asian nations in addition to the SAARC charter of democracy.

The South Asians for Human Rights organised the consultation at Dhaka University Senate Bhaban.

They also expressed resentments at the SAARC charter of democracy for its sketchy draft, which was approved during the Thimphu summit in February.

‘The one and a half page charter contains some good things but it skips many issues of democracy,’ said Imtiaz Ahmed, a teacher of international relations at Dhaka University.

He said civil society in SAARC countries had drafted another charter from citizen’s perspective comprising 50 articles covering many aspects including the social issues.

Dhaka University law teacher Asif Nazrul said the charter approved at Thimphu summit should not be ignored for its smaller size. ‘Despite being just one and a half page, it contains many strong declarations including banning any unconstitutional takeover of in any SAARC country,’ he said.

He also said the 50-article citizen’s initiative was also better but he preferred making it more concise.

Source: New Age – 11.04.2011