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'Deeply disturbed': White House says ‘closely watching’ Pakistan election results amid delay in PM declaration

Notably, the polls did not return a clear majority for anyone, but independent candidates backed by Imran Khan won 92 out of 264 seats making them the largest group. Khan ruled out alliances with the three largest parties, which means his candidate currently lacks the numbers to form a government.

Edited By: Ajeet Kumar @Ajeet1994 Washington Published on: February 16, 2024 7:41 IST
People protesting against the delay in election results in Pakistan
Image Source : AP People protesting against the delay in election results in Pakistan

Islamabad: The White House said it is concerned about the reports of intimidation and suppression of voters during the recently held general elections in Pakistan and is closely watching the situation there while a US lawmaker urged the State Department to delay recognising the winner. “We're concerned, and we share our concerns about some of the reports that we've heard coming out of Pakistan in terms of intimidation, voter suppression, that kind of thing. And so, we are watching this very, very closely,” John Kirby, Coordinator for Strategic Communications at the National Security Council at the White House told reporters at a news conference.

“As I understand it, votes are still being tallied, so international monitors are still taking a look at those tallies. I'm not getting ahead of that process,” Kirby said in response to a question. Indian American Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi, who is co-chair of the powerful House China committee, urged the State Department to delay the recognition of the winner.

Notably, the polls did not return a clear majority for anyone, but independent candidates backed by Imran Khan won 92 out of 264 seats making them the largest group. Khan ruled out alliances with the three largest parties, which means his candidate currently lacks the numbers to form a government.

 

"Deeply disturbed"

“I am deeply disturbed by the numerous reports that Pakistan's military is engaging in vote-rigging and violence to overturn the results of Thursday's elections. These latest actions follow months of targeted suppression, politically motivated arrests, and brutal intimidation tactics,” Krishnamoorthi said on the House floor.

“The results of Pakistan's elections must reflect the will of its people, not its military. It is imperative that every effort is made to ensure that every vote is counted fairly and accurately and that violence is prevented at all costs,” he said.

“As we continue to monitor the results out of Pakistan, I urge the State Department to delay recognising a winner until these allegations are fully reviewed,” Krishnamoorthi said.

Earlier this week, PML-N projected Shehbaz Sharif as the next prime minister. Sharif, 72, was named by his party and coalition allies to head the nuclear-armed nation despite his elder brother and three-time Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif winning a seat in the assembly and being favourite to be sworn in for a fourth term.

(With inputs from agency)

Also Read: Pakistan: Imran Khan's PTI to hold countrywide protests on Feb 17 against alleged rigging in polls

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