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US State Department Asserts Non-Interference, Clarifies Stance on Pakistan’s Electoral Process

The United States (US) has reaffirmed its commitment to supporting democracy in Pakistan but clarified that it does not dictate how the country should conduct its elections.

State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller, during a news briefing, responded to questions about alleged government actions against PTI leader Imran Khan and his party.

Miller emphasized the US government’s commitment to a democratic process but refrained from commenting on specific issues, highlighting the principle of non-interference in Pakistan’s internal affairs.

He stated that the United States is interested in seeing free and fair elections conducted in accordance with Pakistan’s laws, maintaining a neutral stance and not favoring any candidate or party.

While expressing the desire for elections to be conducted in a free, fair, and peaceful manner with respect for fundamental freedoms, Miller underlined that decisions about Pakistan’s future leadership lie with the Pakistani people.

He reiterated the U.S.’s commitment to respecting the sovereignty of nations in determining their political destinies.

These statements from the State Department spokesperson come amid growing concerns about government actions against Imran Khan and his party members. Miller also made similar remarks regarding the upcoming elections in Bangladesh, urging the government in Dhaka to ensure the fairness of the electoral process.

Imran Khan Voices Concerns Over Upcoming Elections in Opinion Piece for The Economist

Meanwhile, the former Prime Minister, Imran Khan, has penned an opinion piece for the prestigious British magazine, The Economist, by invitation. In the article uploaded on January 4, he addressed the upcoming February 8 general elections and the prevailing economic situation in Pakistan.

Expressing concerns about the fairness of the electoral process, Khan asserted that since the vote of no confidence in April 2022, he and his party, PTI, have been consistently targeted by the establishment, including the army, security agencies, and civil bureaucracy.

Scheduled for next month, the elections have raised apprehensions from human rights watchdogs regarding the uneven playing field for certain political parties.

US

The transitional government, led by interim Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar, has faced criticism, particularly in providing what some political parties describe as a favorable environment for the PML-N in Punjab.

Despite these concerns, the caretaker setup has refuted such impressions. Notably, Khan’s party recently lost a legal battle over its electoral symbol, the bat, when the Lahore High Court dismissed a petition challenging the nullification of PTI’s intra-party elections.

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