US expresses concern over participation of terrorist-affiliates in Pakistan elections

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New York, July 28 (IANS) The United States has expressed concern over the participation of terrorist-affiliated people in Pakistan’s elections but commended the voters for rejecting them.

In a statement on Friday afternoon, State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert also noted with concern the the “flaws in the pre-voting electoral process”.

“The US also has deep reservations over the participation of terrorist-affiliated individuals in the elections, but we commend Pakistani voters for fully rejecting these candidates at the ballot box on Wednesday,” she said.

About the conduct of the election, she said that Washington shared the concerns of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan that the flaws “included constraints placed on freedoms of expression and association during the campaign period that were at odds with Pakistani authorities’ stated goal of a fully fair and transparent election”.

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She said that the US also concurred with the European Union Election Observation Mission’s findings “that while there were positive changes to the legal framework for elections in Pakistan, these were overshadowed by restrictions on freedom of expression and unequal campaign opportunities”.

“The US commends the courage of the Pakistani people, including many women, who turned out to vote and showed resolve to determine their country’s future,” she added.

While avoiding any mention of the front-runner in the election, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Imran Khan, Nauert said, “As Pakistan’s elected leaders form a new government, the US will look for opportunities to work with them to advance our goals of security, stability, and prosperity in South Asia.”

(Arul Louis can be reached at [email protected])

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Arul LouisCorrespondent | United Nations | New York

–IANS

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