Pakistani Americans Welcome Election Results
San Francisco, CA: Pakistan American Democratic Forum (PADF), a US-wide grassroots organization, has enthusiastically welcomed the results of the landmark elections in Pakistan which have created a number of "meaningful and consequential" federal and provincial mandates.
According to the results announced by the Election Commission on May 14, the PML-N got 123 seats. The Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) was routed in the elections with 31 seats. The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) led by Imran Khan captured 27 seats. The party position is likely to be changed since the Election Commission has so far announced results of 252 seats out of 272 National Assembly seats.
In a statement, the PADF said it understands the massive mandate given to PML-N. “It is a mandate for good governance, competence, relative honesty and integrity, though in the past recipients of such mandates have fallen short of these qualities.”
The PADF also hailed the insightful mandate given to the PTI which reflects the overwhelming support of voters for their tsunami calling for accountability, transparency and efficiency. “Living in the United States, we believe that during the election campaign the most important task of the PTI was to expose tax evaders and loan defaulters.”
The third position of the PTI in the election is seen a significant development since in the political landscape of Pakistan since it was the first time that the PTI participated in the national polls and motivated the young generation. The voter turnout was reported at 60 percent which is attributed to the energetic PTI campaign.
About the accusations of rigging, it said the PADF concurs with the Indian journalist Mani Shankar Aiyar that “these are the fairest elections in South Asia.”
For the agenda of the incoming government of Nawaz Sharif, the PDF called for the establishment of an independent National Accountability Bureau (NAB). “Present chief of NAB should be removed through Supreme Judicial Council.”
The PADF also called for deep probe into the mysterious death of Kamran Faisal, an officer of Pakistan's National Accountability Bureau (NAB). It may be pointed out that Kamran was probing high-profile US$5 billion rental power projects (RPPs) scam and the 16 accused included former Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf against whom the Supreme Court had issued arrest orders to the NAB just days before the ill-fated investigator was found dead.
The PADF suggested that the Election Commission of Pakistan should hold a public hearing about its performance as well as the working of the interim federal and provincial governments. “Overseas Pakistanis should be allowed to appear at the public hearing to offer their expertise.”
The PADF hailed Nawaz Sharif’s gesture to respect the split mandate and allow the PTI to form government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The PTI has emerged as the largest single party in KP with 35 seats. PML-N got only 12 seats in KP.
PAK-Americans, however, remain wary of foreign interventions in Pakistan’s internal affairs. “We denounce all foreign intervention in Pakistan’s internal affairs,” PADF Chair Dr. Muhammad Ashraf Toor said. “Western imperialism remains a major obstacle to establishment of a genuine democracy in Pakistan.”
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