ISLAMABAD: A team of international observers from the Commonwealth expressed satisfaction with Pakistan’s polling exercise during their visit to Islamabad to monitor the electoral process. The observers downplayed the impact of the suspension of mobile cellular services in the country, highlighting that voters had previously exercised their right to vote without mobile connectivity.
Led by Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, the former President of Nigeria, the Commonwealth observers emphasized that the decision to suspend mobile cellular services was made by the government. During their visit to the Islamabad Model College for Boys F-8/4, the team observed the voting process and acknowledged that voters had historically participated in elections without the use of mobile cellular services.
Dr. Goodluck Jonathan provided insights into the Commonwealth’s involvement, stating that technical experts had been collaborating with the Election Commission of Pakistan and other stakeholders since December. The observer team, comprising retired bureaucrats, judges, and representatives of electoral bodies, engaged with various stakeholders, including journalists and members of civil society, to gather insights into the electoral process.
Expressing satisfaction with the security arrangements at polling stations in Islamabad, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan noted the absence of significant incidents of violence reported so far. The observer team was deployed in various cities to assess arrangements, interact with polling staff, and document any complaints for a comprehensive report on the overall poll process.
Dr. Goodluck Jonathan announced that the team would issue a comprehensive report on Saturday, providing a detailed evaluation of the electoral process, including security arrangements, incidents of violence, and the overall conduct of the elections.
The positive feedback from the Commonwealth observers contributes to the international validation of Pakistan’s efforts in conducting a transparent and secure electoral process.