Home Latest News Foreign Office Rejects U.S. ‘Directions’ to Probe Alleged Rigging in Polls

Foreign Office Rejects U.S. ‘Directions’ to Probe Alleged Rigging in Polls

Spokesperson says Pakistan has internal mechanism to resolve any issues pertaining to country’s democratic process

by Staff Report

File photo of Foreign Office spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch

Pakistan on Friday dismissed the United States’ call for it to probe alleged rigging in the 2024 general elections, stressing Islamabad will not succumb to any external direction.

In a weekly press briefing, Foreign Office spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch said “no country” could give directions to Pakistan. “Pakistan is an independent and sovereign country. We believe in our own sovereign right to make decisions about Pakistan’s internal affairs,” she said, adding that as a “vibrant democracy,” Pakistan had mechanisms in place to resolve any issue pertaining to questions relating to elections or any issue relating to the democratic process in the country.

Since the Feb. 8 polls, the U.S. State Department has responded to questions during multiple briefings, calling for any allegations of electoral irregularities to be fully and transparently investigated. These questions are largely prompted by allegations of PTI-backed candidates, who have alleged they were “denied” their mandate after a delay in issuance of results by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).

Both the ECP and interim government have repeatedly denied the allegations and urged critics to approach the proper legal forums to address their complaints.

Baloch refused to address a recent letter signed by 31 Congressmen urging President Joe Biden and the State Department against recognizing the new government until the rigging allegations were investigated. She similarly refused to comment on a letter written to the International Monetary Fund by PTI to link any future financial support with the audit of the election.

To a question about the indictment of four Pakistani nationals in the U.S. for allegedly supplying arms to Houthi rebels, the spokesperson said the Foreign Office was in touch with the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad and Pakistan’s Embassy in Washington to ascertain facts and provide consular access to the individuals following confirmation of their nationality.

Baloch also denounced a decision by Indian authorities to ban the Muslim Conference Jammu and Kashmir (Bhat faction), and Muslim Conference Jammu and Kashmir (Sumji faction), while extending the current ban on the Jamaat-e-Islami, Jammu Kashmir for five more years. “With this decision, a total of eight Kashmiri political parties have been outlawed in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK). Their leadership and cadres are also facing persecution,” she said, adding such measures reflected a “vicious intent” by India to stifle dissent and freedom of expression. Calling on India to immediately lift the curbs, she reiterated calls for Delhi to implement the U.N. Security Council resolutions on Jammu and Kashmir.

The spokesperson also condemned a massacre by Israeli occupation forces of unarmed Palestinians, who were awaiting life-saving aid and food delivery in Gaza. “This massacre demonstrates a blatant disregard for civility and international humanitarian law and Israel’s deliberate and inhumane policy of mass starvation,” she said, and reiterated Pakistan’s call for an immediate and urgent ceasefire, lifting of the inhumane siege and unimpeded access of humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza.

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