US lawmakers call for free, fair internationally-monitored elections in Pakistan

WASHINGTON: The Several United States lawmakers, led by Congressman Brad Sherman, have advocated for the conduct of free, fair, and internationally-monitored general elections in Pakistan, said media reports on Friday.

The lawmakers made this demand during an event titled ‘Status of Human Rights and Democracy in Pakistan.’

The discussion covered critical issues within Pakistan, such as human rights violations, cases of missing persons, upcoming general elections, politically-motivated arrests, as well as the importance of a free media and democracy.

Congressman Sherman expressed that this is a challenging period for Pakistan and emphasized that the United States is committed to the principles of the rule of law and democracy, irrespective of whether the incumbent prime minister or any future leader aligns with American foreign policy positions.

He highlighted that American lawmakers are looking forward to the holding of free, transparent, and monitored elections as mandated by Pakistani law, which are expected to take place either in October or early November, depending on the unfolding situation.

The event, organized by Dr. Asif Mahmood, a Pakistani-American, had Congressmen Sherman and Jim Costa as hosts. Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) supporters were also present at the event, displaying portraits of journalist Imran Riaz Khan and Khadija Shah, a dual citizen and incarcerated fashion designer, who was detained by Pakistani police following the May 9 violent incidents.

Throughout the event, the Pakistani government was urged multiple times to announce an election date and permit international monitoring to ensure transparency and fairness in the electoral process. Congressman Kweisi Mfume even suggested that oversight should be conducted by the United Nations. Congressman Eric Swalwell sent a letter to the Pakistani ambassador in Washington, inquiring about the whereabouts of Imran Riaz. Congressmen Ted Lieu, Adam Schiff, and Mike Levin emphasized the importance of upholding human rights and championing democratic values and freedom of speech.

 

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