US flags concern over LeT-affiliated individuals participating in Pak polls: Report

America has conveyed its concern to Islamabad, even as the European Union (EU) urged Pakistan to ensure "safe and secure conditions" for the polls.

SAJJAD HUSSAIN
Islamabad, Publish Date: Jul 22 2018 12:12AM | Updated Date: Jul 22 2018 12:12AM
US flags concern over LeT-affiliated individuals participating in Pak polls: ReportRepresentational Pic

The United States has raised concern over the participation of Lashkar-e-Taiba-affiliated (LeT) individuals in the July 25 election, according to a media report.

America has conveyed its concern to Islamabad, even as the European Union (EU) urged Pakistan to ensure "safe and secure conditions" for the polls.

"We have repeatedly expressed our concerns to the Pakistani government about LeT, including the participation of LeT-affiliated individuals in the elections," the US State Department said in a statement, according to the Dawn newspaper.

The State Department noted that the Pakistan Election Commission had rejected the registration of Milli Muslim League (MML) in June, citing "its linkages to LeT, an internationally-sanctioned militant organisation", it said.

The State Department had in an earlier statement stressed the need for continuing the electoral process despite recent  attacks targeting Pakistani politicians.

Meanwhile, the European Union issued a statement in Brussels and urged Islamabad to ensure that electoral activities in all parts of Pakistan continued in "safe and secure conditions", the report said.

Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono said last week that Japan strongly hoped the general election would be held this month freely, fairly and peacefully, without giving in to militants who wanted to disturb the democratic process in Pakistan.

In Washington, State Department's spokesperson Heather Nauert said that such attacks on political candidates and their supporters were "cowardly attempts to deprive the Pakistani people of their democratic rights".

The EU said that it expected Pakistani authorities to "take all the necessary steps to ensure that electoral activities in all parts of the country take place in safe and secure conditions".

All political contestants and citizens should be able to "exercise their constitutional rights to participate in the forthcoming general elections without intimidation or fear for their security," it added.

Notably, it has been reported that individuals of banned outfits were openly taking part in the elections and even forging alliances with mainstream political parties. 

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