Pak-American Groups Demand Transparency in LB Elections
By Saleem Akhtar

Chicago, Illinois: A number of Pakistani-American groups have issued a Joint Statement urging the Musharraf Government to provide full protection and ensure complete freedom of franchise during the August 18 Pakistan-wide city council elections.
The signatories to the joint statement include the following organizations: Coalition of Pakistani Organizations, Chicago; Indus Society of America; Islamic Circle of North America; Kashmir Solidarity Front; Pakistan American Democratic Forum; Pakistan Muslim League (N); Pakistan Peoples Party; and Rehman Foundation.
Later, more than 10, 000 Pakistani Americans endorsed this joint statement by show of hands during the Independence Day celebrations in Chicago’s Warren Park. The audience enthusiastically endorsed the joint statement read out by Dr. Agha Saeed, the chief guest of the Chicago Independence Day Parade and rally.
The Joint Statement reads:
“Cognizant of the deteriorating law and order situation in Pakistan … we call on the Musharraf administration to:
1. Ensure that the overall environment remains peaceful before, during and after the first phase of city council elections.
2. Ensure that the election process remains orderly and transparent with unimpeded access to polling stations.
3. Ensure that independent observers and poll watchers are able to scrutinize vote counting and other related activities.
4. Ensure that the election process is not used by anyone to harass, intimidate, threaten, attack or harm the voters or members of other political parties.
Since the Musharraf administration has been repeatedly warned by Pakistani and Pakistani-American groups of real possibility of violence during the upcoming elections, Pakistanis and Pakistani-Americans will hold the Musharraf government responsible if any breach of law or violence occurs during the August, 18 city council elections.
For more information contact Coalition of Pakistani Organizations, Chicago; at (773) 507 – 5335


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Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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