US, UK and EU urge probe into Pakistan elections
The United States, Britain and the European Union on Friday separately expressed concerns about Pakistan’s electoral process in the wake of a vote on Thursday.
The main battle was expected between former prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League Nawas and independent candidates backed by ex-prime minister Imran Khan.
The U.S. and the EU both mentioned allegations of interference, including arrests of activists, and added that claims of irregularities, interference and fraud should be fully investigated, according to Reuters.
Khan, who is in jail, was barred from taking part in the polls so does his party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), who were stripped off from their electoral symbol “bat” day before the February 8 elections.
Khan believes the powerful military is behind a crackdown to hound his party out of existence.
A “lack of a level playing field, opens new tab”, attributing that to “the inability of some political actors to contest the elections” and to restrictions to freedom of assembly, freedom of expression and internet access, read the statement issued by EU.
Meanwhile, the U.S. State Department said there were “undue restrictions, opens new tab” on freedoms of expressions and assembly while noting violence and attacks on media workers.