The US State Department spokesperson underscored the need for Pakistanis to exercise their right to choose their leaders without fear or intimidation….reports Asian Lite News
In a press briefing on February 5, Vedant Patel, Principal Deputy Spokesperson of the US State Department raised concerns regarding the fairness of the upcoming Pakistani elections, especially in light of former Prime Minister Imran Khan’s incarceration and the banning of his political party’s symbol, a cricket bat.
During the briefing, a question was posed regarding the integrity of the electoral process, highlighting Imran Khan’s imprisonment and the restriction on his party’s participation.
Responding to the question, Patel said, “We’re continuing to monitor Pakistan’s electoral process quite closely, and as we have said, we want to see that process take place in a way that facilitates broad participation with respect for freedom of expression, assembly, and associations.
“We have concerns about – all incidents of violence and restrictions on media freedom; freedom of expression, including internet freedom; and peaceful and – peaceful assembly and association. We’re concerned by some of the infringements that we’ve seen in that space” Patel added.
“Pakistanis deserve to exercise their fundamental right to choose their future leaders through free and fair elections without fear, violence, or intimidation, and it is ultimately for the people of Pakistan to decide their political future” Patel further said.
The US State Department spokesperson underscored the need for Pakistanis to exercise their right to choose their leaders without fear or intimidation. He emphasized that the determination of Pakistan’s political future ultimately rests with its people.
Meanwhile in Pakistan, the Punjab police continued raids on the PTI election offices, as well as houses of the party leaders and supporters, besides allegedly harassing women workers according to Dawn News.
The PTI alleged that police, as well as some masked men, sealed the election office of its incarcerated NA-118 nominee Aaliya Hamza and PP-148 aspirant Saba Dewan.
A PTI spokesman alleged that the police and unknown masked men harassed women workers sitting in the party’s election office in NA-118 and warned them that police would not be responsible for their security if they campaigned against PML-N leader Hamza Shehbaz. (ANI)