On Monday, the United States urged Pakistan to conduct an independent investigation into allegations of election irregularities through its legal system. In response to questions about this demand, the US State Department’s spokesperson, Matthew Miller, emphasized the importance of letting the Pakistani legal system take its course as the initial step.
Miller stated that the United States would consider other options and some US lawmakers were advising against recognizing the results of the Feb 8 elections until the proposed investigation is completed.
While congratulating the people of Pakistan for their participation in the elections, Miller also commended Pakistani poll workers, civil society, journalists, and election observers for their efforts in safeguarding democratic and electoral institutions.
Regarding rigging allegations, Miller acknowledged that the US had expressed concerns both publicly and privately, aligning with the EU, the UK, and other nations in highlighting observed irregularities during the process.
The US emphasized to Pakistan the importance of respecting the election’s outcome, emphasizing the need for upholding the rule of law, constitution, free press, and a vibrant civil society. Miller recognized the negative impact of internet and cellphone restrictions during the election, condemning such limitations and election-related violence.
He underscored the US’s commitment to democracy and freedom while expressing the desire for a thorough investigation into claims of interference and fraud by Pakistan’s legal system. The United States continues to monitor the electoral process in the days ahead.