Donald Lu Flags Election Irregularities in Congressional Testimony

Donald Lu Flags Election Irregularities in Congressional Testimony

Donald Lu Flags Election Irregularities in Congressional Testimony

US Assistant Secretary of State Donald Lu has submitted a written statement expressing Washington’s concerns about irregularities in the Feb 8 elections. In addition, he emphasized the importance of staying engaged with Pakistan to assist them in navigating through the crises they are currently facing. As he prepares to appear before a Congressional panel on Tuesday, Mr. Lu resolves to address these issues and strive for a positive outcome.

Donald Lu, the diplomat, has been making headlines lately. It was his supposed warning to former Pakistan Ambassador to the US, Asad Majeed, that sparked a lot of interest. Majeed sent a ciphered message to Islamabad, which contained the same document that former PM Imran Khan used to claim a US conspiracy against his government in 2022. Now, Khan is facing trial for mishandling this confidential document.

Today, Mr. Lu will testify before a subcommittee of the US House Committee on Foreign Affairs. The hearing is titled ‘Pakistan After the Elections: Examining the Future of Democracy in Pakistan and the US-Pakistan Relationship’. It’s expected to be a bipartisan event, with both Democratic and Republican legislators in attendance.

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US Diplomat Urges Support for Islamabad Amid Economic Struggles

In his written statement, Donald Lu brings attention to the concerns raised by Washington regarding election irregularities in Pakistan. These concerns encompass various issues like restrictions on freedoms, electoral violence, and allegations of interference.

Furthermore, he highlights the obstacles faced by several political leaders, including the inability to register specific candidates and political parties. These obstacles put them at a disadvantage during the electoral process.

In addition, Donald Lu provides insight into the mistreatment faced by journalists, specifically female journalists, by supporters of the party.

Nonetheless, he also recognizes favorable elements, such as a substantial participation of over 60 million voters, with more than 21 million women among them. He also mentions the record number of women and minority candidates participating in the elections.

His statement emphasizes the importance of strengthening Pakistan’s democratic institutions and promoting economic stability through avenues like development grants, private sector investment, and humanitarian aid. Additionally, he recognizes the mounting debt challenges faced by Pakistan and emphasizes the need for economic reforms and private sector-led investments to stimulate economic growth.

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Highlighting the importance of counterterrorism cooperation with Pakistan, Mr. Lu also emphasizes the need to uphold human rights and religious freedoms. Furthermore, he pledges to work closely with the subcommittee to implement US policy in Pakistan and promote a vision of a peaceful, democratic, and prosperous nation.

In his written testimony, uploaded to the House subcommittee’s website a day before the hearing, Mr. Lu acknowledges Islamabad’s crucial partnership for the United States, given it serves as the primary destination for Pakistan’s exports.

Regrettably, Pakistan is currently grappling with mounting debt challenges due to increased borrowing over the past decade, including from China. As a result, nearly 70 percent of the federal government’s revenue is projected to be allocated towards servicing this substantial debt this year,” explains Mr. Lu, underscoring the necessity for continued US engagement with Pakistan.

“Pakistan requires economic reforms and investments driven by the private sector, which will foster economic growth for the Pakistani people without further burdening their government with debt,” he adds.

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