US Lawmakers Call for an Investigation Into Claims of Election-Rigging in Pakistan

A recent letter to President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken from thirty-one members of Congress urged them not to accept a new administration in Pakistan until they had looked into claims of election tampering. Pakistani voters cast their ballots on February 8. Violence was reported on election day, and Pakistani officials restricted mobile services. In the weeks preceding the elections, numerous political figures and activists were taken into custody. The announcement of the election results was delayed in an unusual way. Allegations of vote manipulation resulted from all of these factors.


The Texas Democrat who penned the letter to Biden, U.S. Representative Greg Casar, was interviewed by VOA Urdu Service correspondent Iram Abbasi. The transcript that follows has been condensed and made clearer. VOA Which three requests do you make in your letter to the State Department and White House? Rep. Greg Casar of the United States: Together with a group of more than thirty members of Congress, I have asked the White House and the United States to, among other things, not recognize the candidates claiming victory in the Pakistani election until an independent inquiry has concluded and proven there was no election manipulation.


Second, people should be able to practice their right to free speech, run for office, and engage in political activism without fear of retaliation or physical harm. For this reason, we are calling for the release of anyone who has been unjustly imprisoned for engaging in political activity or free speech. Finally, we want to be very clear that upholding strict human rights standards is a need for the United States to continue providing security assistance to the military in Pakistan and, to be honest, to the military anyplace in the world.

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