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US looking forward to timely free and fair Pak elections

Last Updated: Saturday, March 23, 2013 - 09:19

Washington: The US is looking forward to timely, free and fair elections in Pakistan, a State Department official on Friday said, hours after the announcement of the polls schedule in Islamabad.

"We do understand that Pakistan has announced the date for the National Assembly elections of May 11. We look forward to timely, free and fair elections that are going to result in the first civilian democratic transition of power in Pakistan`s history," State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland told reporters at her daily news conference.

"We obviously will look to the government of Pakistan with regard to any help or support they might need," she said when asked if the US would be sending any observers for the elections.

The US has a number of ongoing programs that support elections, clean, fair elections, in Pakistan, she said.

"We provide support through local organisations to encourage voter participation among groups that have historically low turnout, such as women. We also provide grants for two-way communication forums for citizens to discuss the election process. We also fund training for poll workers," she said.

"The total amount of that assistance is about USD 6.5 million, but to date we haven`t had any requests from the government of Pakistan for concrete support for the election itself," she added.

"It is up to the people of Pakistan to decide who their representatives should be according to their democratic process," Nuland said when asked about the participation of former President Pervez Musharraf in the coming elections.


First Published: Saturday, March 23, 2013 - 09:12
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