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Monday, July 15, 2024

Reactions: US Congress Passes Resolution on Possible Election Fraud in Pakistan

PTI urges the Chief Justice to expedite long-pending petitions on election fraud and seeks international support for democratic integrity in Pakistan.

The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has called on Chief Justice Qazi Faez Isa to prioritize their long-pending petitions regarding the May 9 riots and the alleged February 8 “mega polls fraud.”

During a press conference at the Central Secretariat, PTI Information Secretary Raoof Hasan criticized the judiciary for ignoring critical petitions, emphasizing the need for a fair review of the apex court’s verdict that deprived PTI of its election symbol, the “bat.” He highlighted that despite multiple letters sent to the Chief Justice, PTI’s requests for a level playing field in the general polls have gone unanswered.

Referring to the ongoing case of reserved seats for the Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC) in the Supreme Court, Hasan pointed out that Chief Justice Isa had repeatedly questioned PTI’s intra-party elections. Hasan defended PTI’s conduct, stressing that the party had complied with apex court guidelines in previous elections. He criticized the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), accusing it of complicity in electoral misconduct and undermining PTI’s efforts during the elections.

International Response and US Congress Resolution

In a significant move, the US Congress passed a resolution demanding an independent investigation into the February 8 general elections in Pakistan. The resolution, passed with an overwhelming majority of 368-7 votes, reflects strong bipartisan support for democracy and human rights in Pakistan. It condemned efforts to suppress democratic participation through harassment, intimidation, violence, arbitrary detentions, and internet restrictions. The resolution called for collaboration between the US and Pakistan to uphold democratic values, human rights, and the rule of law.

The passage of this resolution has energized PTI supporters in the US, who took to social media to express their support. Influential figures like Asif Mahmood praised the resolution, emphasizing the need for credible observers to ensure free and fair elections in Pakistan. This international backing underscores the global concern for Pakistan’s democratic processes and the transparency of its electoral system.

Government’s Diplomatic Stance

Reacting to the US Congress resolution, Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry expressed its commitment to constitutionalism, human rights, and the rule of law. The ministry criticized the resolution for its “incomplete understanding” of Pakistan’s political situation and electoral process, emphasizing the importance of constructive dialogue and mutual respect in bilateral ties. Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Ishaq Dar announced that Pakistan would pass its own resolution in response, highlighting the country’s sovereignty and unity.

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Dar also addressed Pakistan’s diplomatic priorities, including relations with Afghanistan and the Kashmir dispute. He underscored the government’s focus on economic diplomacy as a path to overcoming the country’s economic challenges. Despite international scrutiny, Dar rejected the notion of Pakistan’s isolation on the global stage, citing Pakistan’s election as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council as evidence of international confidence in the country.