ISLAMABAD: US Am­­bassador Donald Blome on Thursday met Chief Elec­tion Commissioner Sikan­der Sultan Raja to reaffirm the United States’ support for free and fair elections “conducted in accordance with Pakist­an’s laws and Constitution”.

According to a press release issued by the US Embassy, the US ambassador reaffirmed that Pakistan’s leaders are the people’s choice, underscoring commitment to enhancing US-Pakistan ties regardless of the chosen leadership.

Though not explicitly stated, concerns over poll delay were implied as global figures urged elections within 90 days per the Constitution.

Pakistan was scheduled to go to polls by November after the National Asse­m­bly was dissolved and a caretaker government announced earlier this month, but following a decision by the Council of Common Interests to approve results of digital census and its notification two days prior to NA dissolution, the ECP had announced a schedule to delimit the constituencies, going beyond the constitutional deadline to conduct the polls.

Flood relief assistance

The US has provided more than $215 million in flood relief, disaster resilience and food security as­­sistance for Pakistan since the beginning of the catastrophic floods of 2022.

Figures released by the US Embassy in Islamabad on Thursday showed that more than $80m in US humanitarian assistance through USAID to provi­de urge­ntly needed supplies for those most affected, inclu­ding support for food, nutrition, health, security, safe drinking water, improved sanitation and hygiene, and shelter.

Published in Dawn, August 25th, 2023

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