Pakistan in, Sri Lanka out: Biden's democracy summit is a diplomatic flub

Once you turn a conference invitation into a certificate, then it is the certificate that matters and not the conference.

Imran Khan
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Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan | Photo: Shutterstock

Mihir S Sharma | Bloomberg
Supposedly, U.S. President Joe Biden’s “Summit for Democracy”--which begins Dec. 9--would show America was back as leader of the free world. Unfortunately, the Biden administration isn’t big on either thoughtfulness before the fact, or justification after. And in many parts of the world, including here in South Asia, the summit is likely to do more harm than good. India, the world’s largest democracy--albeit one not quite as robust these days as once it was--will naturally be there. But Sri Lanka, which has comparable democratic credentials, is not. 

Most puzzling, perhaps, is the choice to exclude Bangladesh while inviting Pakistan. Neither is

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First Published: Nov 30 2021 | 10:21 AM IST

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