US calls for 'timely' and 'fair' elections in Pakistan
Deputy Secretary Victoria Nuland and FM Jilani take up Pakistan's economic stability, continued engagement with the IMF: Ways to broaden US-Pakistan partnership also discussed
By News Desk
August 30, 2023 10:19 AM
The United States has called for “timely, free and fair elections” in Pakistan in a manner which is consistent with Pakistan’s laws and Constitution, reported 24NewsHD TV channel on Wedneday.
The call was made by US Acting Deputy Secretary of State and Under Secretary for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland in telephonic conversation with Pakistan Caretaker Foreign Minister Jalil Abbas Jilani on Tuesday, the US State Department said.
During the phone call, Victoria Nuland congratulated Foreign Minister Jilani on his appointment. They discussed broadening and deepening the US-Pakistan partnership on issues of mutual concern, including Pakistan’s economic stability, prosperity, and continued engagement with the IMF.
Nuland and Foreign Minister Jilani also discussed the importance of timely, free and fair elections in a manner consistent with Pakistan’s laws and Constitution.
Later, in a post uploaded on X, formerly known as Twitters, Nuland appreciated the phone conversation with Foreign Minister Jilani.
Pakistani politics has been in a crisis for over a year, with PTI chief and former prime minister Imran Khan - who was ousted in a parliamentary vote of no-confidence last year - being at the centre of it. Imran Khan had blamed the United States for his ousting which the Washington had denied repeately.
The State Department statement on the call between Nuland and Jilani made no mention of Imran Khan.
Islamabad High Court on Tuesday suspended Imran Khan’s three-year jail sentence, but he will remain behind bars as a judge had already ordered his detention in another case. The conviction of Imran Khan, who remains Pakistan's most popular leader according to opinion polls, has also barred him from contesting elections for five years.
A caretaker cabinet under interim Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar had been sworn in mid-August, tasking it with running the country until fresh elections, which may be delayed beyond November as constituency boundaries are redrawn.
The caretaker cabinet's top job will be to lead Pakistan towards economic stabilization, with the $350 billion economy treading a narrow recovery path after getting a last-minute $3 billion bailout deal from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), averting a sovereign debt default.
The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) had earlier this month said new constituencies based on the latest census would be finalized by December 14. After that, the commission will confirm the election date.
Nuland and Jilani also discussed Pakistan's economic stability and continued engagement with the IMF, the State Department said.