WASHINGTON: On Monday, the US State Department issued a statement regarding the general elections in 2024. The US State Department Principal Deputy Spokesperson, Vedant Patel, said that the United States was committed to ensuring free and fair general elections in Pakistan.
It is pertinent to mention here that the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has notified that the general elections will be held on February 8, 2024. The date was decided after consultation with the President of Pakistan Dr Arif Alvi. ECP issuance of the notification regarding the date of the general election took place under the Election Act – Section 57.
Note that earlier, ECP submitted a date of February 11. However, the Supreme Court directed the commission to meet President Alvi and settle a date after mutual consultation. After which a notification was issued stating that the general elections will take place on February 8, 2024, in light of the Supreme Court’s order.
Vedant Patel, during a press brief, said the US had no focus on candidates participating in the upcoming general elections of Pakistan. When questioned about the potential exclusion of a prominent leader like Imran Khan because of imprisonment, he answered that the US has no assessment of the representation of any specific political party or the makeup of candidates. Patel maintained a stance that decisions like these would be determined by the people of Pakistan.
The spokesperson was also asked a question referring to the increasing hatred for the US and Israel after the Gaza war. Vedant answered that the US has respect for the freedom of speech. He added that in light of the present circumstances, adjustments would be made to the travel advisory.