US Congress adopts resolution seeking probe into Pakistan general elections
Pakistan has criticised the US House of Representatives' Resolution 901, terming it neither constructive nor objective

at 11:13 pm
Pakistan Foreign Office Spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch

Islamabad/Washington, June 26: The US House of Representatives on Wednesday approved a resolution supporting democracy and human rights in Pakistan, and urged for an impartial investigation into claims of irregularities in the country’s February 8 general elections.

Pakistan has criticised the US House of Representatives’ Resolution 901, terming it neither constructive nor objective due to its perceived lack of understanding of the country’s political situation and electoral process.

On Wednesday, a total of 368 US House of Representative members voted in favour of the resolution, calling for a “full and independent investigation of claims of interference or irregularities in Pakistan’s February 2024 election.”

The House Resolution 901 asked the representatives to vote if they wanted to “express support for democracy and human rights in Pakistan.”

Seven members voted against it.

Through the resolution, the US lawmakers have emphasised on the need for the Pakistani public’s participation in the country’s democratic process months after its general polls were contested as “rigged” and its outcome termed “delayed” by political parties now seated on the opposition benches in the legislature.

The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) is among those opposing the results of the polls after its candidates faced immense hurdles in their run up to their participation in the vote, leading them to participate as independent candidates and being deprived of their iconic bat symbol following a legal battle with the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).

The country’s two major parties, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), along with other political parties, formed a coalition government in the Centre following the polls, leaving the candidates of PTI and other political parties with the opposition seats, news reports said.

The resolution has denounced “attempts to suppress the people of Pakistan’s participation in their democracy, including through harassment, intimidation, violence, arbitrary detention, restrictions on access to the Internet and telecommunications, or any violation of their human, civil, or political rights”.

The resolution also condemned “any effort to subvert the political, electoral, or judicial processes of Pakistan”.

Sharing his views on the development, Michael Kugelman — the South Asia Institute director at the Washington-based The Wilson Center — said that at least 85% of the members of the House of Representatives have voted in favour of the resolution.

“What really stands out for me is the margin of the vote, and the number of Members that voted. 85% of House members voted on it, and 98% voted in favor of the resolution. This is quite significant,” wrote Kugelman in a post on X.

Pakistan Foreign Office Spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch slammed the resolution, saying the timing and context of resolution do not align well with positive dynamics of the bilateral ties.

“We believe that the timing and context of this particular resolution do not align well with the positive dynamics of our bilateral ties and stem from an incomplete understanding of the political situation and electoral process in Pakistan,” Baloch remarked.

She emphasised that Pakistan, as the world’s second-largest parliamentary democracy and fifth-largest democracy overall, remains committed to constitutionalism, human rights, and the rule of law in line with its national interests.

Baloch stressed the importance of constructive dialogue and engagement based on mutual respect and understanding. “Such resolutions are therefore neither constructive nor objective. We hope that the US Congress will play a supportive role in strengthening Pakistan-US ties and focus on avenues of mutual collaboration that benefit both our peoples and countries,” she added.