- US State Department Spokesperson Vedant Patel says Washington supports 'free and fair elections that are conducted in a way for the benefit of the Pakistani people'
The US has said that it does not have an assessment on the makeup of candidates or the representation of any specific political party in Pakistan.
US State Department Spokesperson Vedant Patel during his media briefing on Monday was asked to comment on announcement on election date in Pakistan.
“Many analysts in Pakistan have their doubts because these elections are happening without the most popular leader, former Prime Minister Imran Khan. Any thoughts about that?”
“Again, don’t have an assessment on the makeup of candidates or the representation of any specific political party. That is for the people of Pakistan to decide,” Patel replied.
He further said that the US’s focus continues to be on ensuring and supporting “that there are free and fair elections that are conducted in a way for the benefit of the Pakistani people”.
His statement comes after the ECP announced to hold the elections on February 8. The announcement by the commission came after Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Qazi Faez Isa directed ECP to confer with President Arif Alvi on the poll date.
After holding talks with the president, the ECP issued a notification announcing the elections date.
In a statement issued, the ECP said “pursuant to order passed by Supreme Court of Pakistan dated November 02, 2023 and subsequent meeting with President Dr Arif Alvi, the ECP in exercise of its powers under Section 57(1) of Election Act 2017 and other powers enabling it in that behalf hereby announces February 08, 2024 as poll date for general elections to National Assembly and provincial assemblies of Punjab, Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan”.