US awaits official results of Pakistan’s general elections: Spokesperson
WASHINGTON: (Web Desk) The US State Department said on Thursday that it is too early to say anything about the General Election 2024 before the announcement of the official results in Pakistan.
State Department Spokesperson Matthew Miller said, “In the elections, millions of Pakistanis polled. Our interest lies in Pakistan’s democratic process.”
“We condemn the incidents of violence that transpired during the elections,” the official said.
The spokesperson said, “We have reservations about freedom of speech. During the polling day, internet outages and masses not getting cellular access are concerning.”
Earlier, the United States said that it expected the national elections to be held in a manner that is both free and fair and follows the country’s laws, reported the Voice of America.
“It’s not for the United States to dictate to Pakistan the exact specifics of how it conducts its election,” a US State Department spokesperson told a news conference in Washington.
Miller added, “But to make clear that we want to see those elections conducted in a free, fair and peaceful manner that includes freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and association, and ultimately a full, open, reliable, vibrant democratic process.”
He was responding to charges that the military-backed Pakistani caretaker government was cracking down on the political party of jailed former Prime Minister Imran Khan and its members who are filing to run for office.
Khan wrote from prison Thursday in The Economist that his PTI was being unfairly muzzled.
The VoA quoted Imran as saying, “My party’s leaders, workers, and social-media activists, along with supportive journalists, were abducted, incarcerated, tortured and pressured to leave PTI,” he asserted. “Many of them remain locked up, with new charges being thrown at them every time the courts give them bail or set them free.”
“In this scenario, even if elections were held, they would be a disaster and a farce, since PTI is being denied its basic right to campaign,” Khan wrote.
Independent election monitors and human rights groups have also increasingly questioned the integrity and credibility of next month’s vote, citing the crackdown on PTI and growing media censorship.