Several nations on Friday expressed concerns over Pakistan’s electoral process and urged a probe into its alleged irregularities amid the country’s election commission’s delay in the declaration of the results of general elections, followed by the uncertainty of the formation of the government. According to nations including the United States, the United Kingdom, and the European Union, illegal activities such as fraud, arrest of activists, and interference must be investigated.
While the nations said they would work with the next government, they did not congratulate any party or candidate yet, despite former Pakistani prime ministers Nawaz Sharif and Imran Khan claiming victory.
US raises concern
Reportedly, the US state department noted there were “undue restrictions” on the freedom of expression and assembly during the general election in Pakistan. Along with this, Democratic US representatives Ro Khanna and Ilhan Omar alleged that the Pakistani military interfered and rigged the result, and urged the State Department to not recognise a winner until a probe is conducted, reported Reuters.
UK foreign minister David Cameron in a statement on Friday raised serious concerns about the “fairness and lack of inclusivity of the elections.”
EU statement on Pakistan elections
The European Union on Friday noted a “lack of a level playing field” in the general elections, attributing it to the “inability of some political actors to contest the elections”, restrictions of freedom of assembly, restrictions of freedom and expression, and internet access, reported Reuters.
UN on violence against political parties in Pakistan
Meanwhile, the UN human rights office earlier this week, denounced the violence against political parties and candidates in Pakistan, and voiced concern over the “pattern of harassment, arrests and prolonged detentions of leaders and supporters” of former jailed Pakistani prime minister Imran Khan’s party – Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).
Pakistan general election results
According to the latest data from the Pakistan election commission, independent candidates – mostly backed by Imran Khan’s PTI, won the most seats – 98 of the 245. Reportedly, the PTI loyalists’ tally of seats surpassed former Pakistan prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s PML (N) and Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari’s Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), who won 69 and 51 seats, respectively. Notably, a political party would need 133 seats for a simple majority.
However, both Khan and Sharif have claimed victory in the election, leaving a massive uncertainty over who would form the government.
Shortly after Sharif claimed victory, he admitted that his party did not have enough of a majority to form a government without the support of others, and invited allies to join the coalition to form the government in Pakistan. “It would have been good if we had got a full mandate and emerged as the majority party and formed government, but even then, we would have invited other parties to join us and walk with us. But since we don’t have such a majority that we can form the government on our own, we will invite other allied parties that have been successful in the election to join us and jointly form a government and jointly get Pakistan out of its difficulties,” he said in Urdu.
(With inputs from Reuters)