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International Observers and Journalists Granted Visas for Coverage of Pakistan’s Upcoming General Elections

International observers, invited by the caretaker government, are prepared to oversee the general elections scheduled for February 8, alongside numerous foreign journalists who have been granted visas to cover the polls.

The government has emphasized that issuing these visas underscores its commitment to ensuring free and fair elections in line with constitutional obligations.

A source familiar with the matter remarked that both the caretaker government and the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) are dedicated to conducting elections impartially and in accordance with constitutional mandates.

A senior government official stated that Pakistan’s upcoming general elections on February 8 promise a swift and democratic transition of power. State institutions are firmly committed to upholding the principles of free and fair elections and are determined to fulfill their roles within the constitutional framework set by the government.

Meanwhile, the Pakistan High Commission in London has granted visas to 37 British journalists, including Christina Lamb from The Times, for coverage of the upcoming general elections. Lamb, previously deported from Pakistan and denied visas over several years, is among those granted entry.

Teams from CNN, Sky, BBC, and ITV are also en route to Pakistan to cover the electoral proceedings, with some already arrived and others expected this week. Teams from The Telegraph and Channel 4 News are also poised to provide coverage of the polls.

According to the high commission in London, all journalists granted visas will contribute to ensuring the conduct of free and fair elections, following the directives of the Pakistani government.

On January 23, caretaker Federal Minister for Information Murtaza Solangi announced that 49 visas for Islamabad, Lahore, and Karachi had been issued, with 32 requests still pending.

Furthermore, 174 requests for Accreditation Cards from foreign media and their Pakistani staff were processed by the electoral authority. Among these, 25 were from the UK, eight from Russia, 13 from Japan, two from South Africa, and five from Commonwealth countries under the International Observers category.

Ambreen Jan, the Press Information Department executive director general for the External Publicity Wing, confirmed that visa applications for election coverage had been received from 14 countries, with a total of 81 foreign journalists applying. Out of these, 49 visas have been issued, while 55 applications are still being processed for International Election Observers.

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