US MPs advise Biden against recognising Pakistan polls results

WASHINGTON  -  Several lawmakers of the United States, on both sides of the aisle, have urged President Joe Biden’s adminis­tration not to recog­nize election results in Pakistan until alleged irregularities are inves­tigated. “Claims of inter­ference or fraud should be fully investigated,” the US State Depart­ment’s spokesperson said in a statement on Friday, expressing con­cerns about the allega­tions of interference in the electoral process.

“We join credible in­ternational and local election observers in their assessment that these elections included undue restrictions on freedom of expression, association and peace­ful assembly,” the state­ment said. “Given the recent strong state­ments by House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaul, Ranking Member Gregory Meeks and other prominent law­makers in support of Pakistani democracy, we urge the Biden Administration and Con­gress to look into strong concerns of vote counting irregularities and ballot tamper­ing,” the committee’s chairman stated.

A senior member of the powerful House Foreign Affairs Committee, Congressman Brad Sherman, said: “Press organisations in Pakistan should be free to report vote tabulations and there should be no unwar­ranted delay in announcing results.”

Along with that Congresswoman Rashi­da Tlaib stated, “We must stand with the Pakistani people as their democracy is at serious risk. They should be able to elect their leaders without interference and tampering with the process and the US must ensure our tax dollars don’t go to anyone undermining that.”

Congresswoman Dina Titus said that she was closely monitoring the situation on the ground urging officials to adhere to the rule of law. “Free and fair elections are the cornerstone of a functioning democracy,” she stated, condemning the use of political violence and restriction on freedoms of ex­pression in Pakistan. Likewise, Congress­woman Ilhasn Omar called on the Depart­ment of State to “refrain from recognising the results until credible, independent in­vestigations” are conducted into the nu­merous allegations of misconduct.

“I am deeply troubled by reports of inter­ference in this week’s election in Pakistan. The legitimacy of any incoming govern­ment rests on fair elections, free of ma­nipulation, intimidation, or fraud. The Pa­kistani people deserve nothing less than a transparent democratic process and true representative government,” she said.

“I echo the State Department’s call for an investigation of election interference and fraud in Pakistan. The US should ensure that a credible, independent investigation is completed before recognising a result. We must protect democracy and the will of the people,” Congressman Greg Casar posted on X, formerly Twitter.

Congresswomen Summer Lee and Susan Wild voiced the same. “In this era of back­sliding democracies, the US must make it clear that we stand with the Pakistani peo­ple and will not let their voices be erased by state violence, targeted network outag­es, and voter suppression,” Rep Lee stated, while Rep Wild said, “I echo the @StateD­ept call for a full investigation of election interference and fraud in Pakistan. Now is the time for the international community to stand on the side of the people of Pakistan. We cannot recognise a new government un­til it is clear that democracy has prevailed.”

Meanwhile, the Pakistani American Polit­ical Action Committee (PAKPAC) also called on the Biden administration and Congress to investigate alleged election irregularities in Pakistan. In a statement issued Friday, the group announced that it has secured 75 co-sponsors in the House of Represen­tatives for a resolution that affirms strong support for democracy in Pakistan, includ­ing free and fair elections, and condemns attempts to suppress people’s participation in the process. The bipartisan resolution was introduced by Congressmen Richard McCormick, Republican, and Dan Kildee, a Democrat, and urges Pakistani authorities to uphold democratic institutions, human rights and the rule of law.

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