US MPs call for free, fair polls in Pakistan

WASHINGTON   -   Several lawmakers of the United States, in­cluding Congressman Brad Sherman, have called for free, fair, and internationally-moni­tored general elections in Pakistan.

The demand by mem­bers of the Congress came during an event, 'Status of Human Rights and Democracy in Pa­kistan', where criti­cal issues in Pakistan, including upcoming general elections, ar­rests, as well as the sig­nificance of free media, and democracy came under discussion.

"This is a difficult time for Pakistan. America is dedicated to the rule of law and democracy,” Congressman Sherman said. He said that US lawmakers look forward to free, transparent and monitored elections as required by Paki­stani law, which he believes is “either in October or early No­vember depending upon how things work out”.

The event was organised by known Pakistani-American Dr Asif Mahmood with Congress­men Sherman and Jim Costa.

During the almost two-hour-long event, the Pakistani gov­ernment was repeatedly urged to announce an election date and allow international moni­toring to ensure free, fair and transparent elections. 

Congressman Kweisi Mfume even demanded that “the over­sight should come from the United Nations.” Meanwhile, Pa­kistan’s Ambassador to the Unit­ed States, Masood Khan, held separate meetings with three key US lawmakers to discuss Is­lamabad-Washington relations, economic partnership, defense ties, and security collaboration, said a Pakistani embassy press release. Ambassador Khan, con­ferred with Senator Todd Young, who serves on Committees on Finance. Foreign Relations, Commerce, Science & Transpor­tation, and Small Business and Entrepreneurship; Congress­man Mike Rogers, Chairman of the Armed Services Commit­tee, and Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, Deputy Chair of the Con­gressional Progressive Caucus, also discussed climate adapta­tion and mitigation as well as re­gional developments. 

“Met with pleasure Senator Todd Young @SenToddYoung, a great leader from Indiana, to explore ways to strengthen Pak-US economic partnership. Dis­cussed issues related to region­al security,” the Ambassador tweeted after the meeting. 

Masood Khan also discussed the same subjects with Con­gressman Rogers, Chairman Armed Services Committee. The two sides agreed to continue their talks. After meeting with Congresswoman Omar, Masood Khan tweeted that he had dis­cussed a range of subjects, in­cluding Pak-US relations, de­velopments in the region, and climate adaptation and mitiga­tion. He lauded Congresswom­an Omar’s work on promoting human security. Congresswom­an Ilhan Omar is the Vice-Rank­ing Member of the House Bud­get Committee. She also serves on the House Education and Workforce Committee, where she is a member of the Subcom­mittee on Workforce Protec­tions and the Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions (HELP).

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