US Points Out Irregularities in Pakistan Polls: “We Were Concerned”

Credits: NDTV

The United States has brought attention to irregularities observed during Pakistan’s general elections held on February 8, emphasizing its commitment to fortifying the country’s democratic institutions and collaborating to counteract terrorist threats.

Assistant Secretary of State Donald Lu is slated to serve as a key witness before a Congressional panel on Wednesday, addressing the future of democracy in Pakistan and the U.S.-Pakistan relationship.

Lu’s involvement in a diplomatic communication, which later became the subject of controversy involving former Prime Minister Imran Khan’s allegations of a U.S. conspiracy, underscores the significance of his testimony.

Irregularities in Pakistan Polls (Credits: News18)

Khan is currently facing trial for mishandling the confidential document, further underscoring the issue’s complexities.

In his written testimony, Lu outlined various concerns regarding the electoral process in Pakistan. He highlighted the State Department’s condemnation of electoral violence, restrictions on freedom of expression, attacks on media workers, and allegations of interference in the electoral process.

Additionally, Lu expressed concern about limitations imposed on poll monitoring organizations and internet shutdowns during the election.

Despite these challenges, Lu also acknowledged positive aspects of the elections, noting the significant voter turnout, particularly among women, and the increased representation of women, religious and ethnic minorities, and young people in parliament.

Irregularities in Pakistan Polls (Credits: Bloomberg)

He emphasized promoting democracy and supporting diverse political participation in Pakistan. Lu underscored the U.S.’s commitment to strengthening democratic institutions, supporting economic stability, and countering terrorist threats in Pakistan.

He highlighted ongoing U.S. investments in critical infrastructure projects and humanitarian assistance efforts to address challenges such as catastrophic flooding.

However, Lu also cautioned against Pakistan’s mounting debt challenges, emphasizing the need for economic reforms and private sector-led investments to foster sustainable economic growth.

He warned against overreliance on borrowing, mainly from entities like the People’s Republic of China, which could exacerbate Pakistan’s debt burden.

Lu’s testimony underscores the multifaceted nature of the U.S.-Pakistan relationship, emphasizing the importance of collaboration in addressing various challenges while promoting democratic principles and economic stability.

His remarks reflect the complexities and opportunities inherent in the partnership between the two nations, highlighting the need for continued dialogue and cooperation to advance shared objectives.

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