Pakistan hits back at criticism of election conduct, insists cellphone ban is necessary


ISLAMABAD (AP) — Pakistan hit back at criticism on Saturday conduct of its parliamentary elections, Which were conducted amid sporadic terrorist attacks and unprecedented halt of all mobile phone services.

A strongly worded response from the Ministry of External Affairs stressed that the voting was peaceful and successful.

The US State Department said this Thursday’s voting took place under unreasonable restrictions On freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly. The EU has also said it regrets the lack of a level playing field due to the inability of some political actors to contest elections.

The ministry said it was “surprised by the negative tone of some of these statements, which neither take into account the complexity of the electoral process, nor acknowledge the free and enthusiastic exercise of the right to vote by millions of Pakistanis”.

It said such statements “ignore the indisputable fact that Pakistan has conducted general elections peacefully and successfully while dealing with serious security threats posed primarily by foreign sponsored terrorism.”

Photos you should see

A member of the National Ballet of Ukraine looks at her phone while preparing for a performance "nadia ukraine" (Hope for Ukraine) Opening night in Vancouver on Monday, February 5, 2024.  Twenty-three dancers are on a Canadian tour highlighting Ukrainian culture through traditional dance, while also supporting the war effort by collecting donations from audiences for Ukraine First.  Lady Olena Zelenska Foundation and Humanite.  (Darryl Dyke/The Canadian Press via AP)

It said there was no internet shutdown across the country and “only mobile services were suspended for the day to avoid terrorist incidents on polling day.”

In Thursday’s voting, no political party got a simple majority and independent candidates backed by jailed former Prime Minister Imran Khan took the lead in the vote count.

Candidates supported by Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party won 100 of the 266 seats in the National Assembly. Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League party captured 71 seats.

Also on Saturday, a political party leader was injured and two police officers were killed in a clash in the country’s northwest.

Police officer Zahid Khan said violence broke out in North Waziristan when Mohsin Dawar and his supporters tried to march towards a military facility protesting the delay in declaring election results.

Copyright 2024 The associated Press, All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


Source link

Leave a Comment