US senator calls on Pakistani authorities to probe allegations of fraud in February 8 polls – 7 minute timer

US senator calls on Pakistani authorities to probe allegations of fraud in February 8 polls

WASHINGTON/ISLAMABAD: A US senator has urged the Pakistani authorities to totally examine the claims of vote rigging within the nation’s elections, emphasising that with out a credible investigation, a brand new authorities will wrestle to carry the Pakistani folks collectively. Taking to X on Friday, Senator Chris Van Hollen shared pictures of a letter he wrote to Pakistan’s Ambassador to the US Masood Khan on February 21 by which he praised the hundreds of thousands of Pakistanis who voted on February 8 within the nation’s elections. The numerous turnout of Pakistani folks from across the nation and each stroll of life speaks to the elemental function elections play in democracies around the globe, he mentioned. “Unfortunately, these elections were marred by political violence, allegations of unfair restrictions on political expression, and accusations of vote rigging,” the Democrat Senator wrote. The junior senator from Maryland, who was by the way born in Karachi, additional mentioned, “The State Department agreed with international and local election observers’ assessment that ‘these elections included undue restrictions on freedoms of expression, association, and peaceful assembly’.” The letter additionally mentioned Pakistani authorities shut down cell telecommunications ostensibly as a safety measure and the allegations made by a senior administrative official of Punjab province that he participated in fraud “converting losers into winners” and altering the outcomes for 13 nationwide parliament seats. Van Hollen urged Pakistan to “fully investigate the allegations of fraud and electoral interference”. “Without a credible investigation, a new government will struggle to bring the Pakistani people together,” he mentioned. In the meantime, a high-level inquiry committee constituted by Pakistan’s prime electoral physique on Friday mentioned the explosive allegations of election rigging levelled by the previous senior bureaucrat had been “false and based on lies”. The report of the probe committee got here a day after Rawalpindi’s former Commissioner Liaquat Ali Chattha on Thursday took a U-turn and withdrew his allegations, saying he had made the rigging fees on the behest of former prime minister Imran Khan’s social gathering which provided him a “lucrative position”. Khan’s Pakistan-Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) social gathering on Friday approached the Supreme Court docket difficult the end result of the elections alleging widespread rigging. Khan has already declared the whole course of because the ‘Mom of All Rigging’ and has been insisting that his social gathering’s mandate was stolen due to the rigging. The social gathering has claimed that it gained 180 seats within the Nationwide Meeting by the use of impartial candidates backed by the social gathering, nevertheless, the rigging ensured that the quantity was decreased to 92 seats solely, thus robbing its probability of coming again to energy. The petition comes two days after the highest court docket disposed of a petition searching for to annul the elections and imposed a advantageous on a petitioner, a former Military officer, for failing to look in court docket after submitting the petition. Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), the social gathering led by one other former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, gained 75 seats whereas the Pakistan Peoples Social gathering (PPP) got here third with 54 seats. The Muttahida Qaumi Motion Pakistan (MQM-P) has 17 seats. Given the Constitutional provision {that a} social gathering should win 133 out of 265 contested seats within the 266-member Nationwide Meeting to kind a authorities, the PML-N and the PPP have agreed on a power-sharing deal to kind a brand new coalition authorities. Beneath this association, PML-N’s Shehbaz Sharif is projected because the prime minister candidate, whereas PPP’s Asif Ali Zardari is to be the president, and should successfully finish former Khan’s probabilities of returning to energy.

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