Dhaka [Bangladesh], December 8 (ANI): Bangladesh has not been invited to the US Democracy Summit which is scheduled to be held on December 9-10, reported local media.
Sri Lanka and Afghanistan are also among the South Asian countries that are not invited while Pakistan has made it to the list. A total of 110 countries have been invited to the Summit.
"The summit aims to provide leaders a forum to engage, listen, and speak honestly about the challenges and opportunities facing democratic governments and about how democracies can deliver for their citizens," the US State Department said in a press release.
Interestingly, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Qatar, and the UAE, which are allies of Washington have been left out from the list of invitees to the Democracy Summit because the US considers them to be countries 'woefully lacking in democracy, reported Bangladeshi Live News.
Further, the Bangladeshi publication asked whether the US now officially considers Bangladesh's democracy index to be at par with the above mentioned authoritarian regimes. Among the countries of the Middle East, only Israel and Iraq will attend the online conference, it added.
If elections are a criterion, the US State Department described Bangladesh's last election as "improbably lopsided." Pakistan's last election, meanwhile, took place after its principal opposition leader had first been disqualified and then, for good measure, sentenced to jail, according to the publication.
The election itself was, the State Department noted, marred by "pre-election interference by military and intelligence agencies that created an uneven electoral playing field." So again the invitation to Pakistan while leaving out Dhaka makes little sense, said Bangladeshi Live News. (ANI)