The U.S. State Department emphasized on February 9 that Pakistan’s future leadership is for its people to determine, refraining from commenting on preliminary election results amid allegations of rigging and electoral malpractice. Deputy Spokesperson Vedant Patel condemned instances of election-related violence and expressed concerns about restrictions on freedom of expression, particularly regarding internet and cellphone access.
While refraining from speculation on government makeup, Patel underscored the importance of democratic institutions, a free press, and political participation for all citizens. He dismissed suggestions that the U.S. prioritizes relations with the Pakistani military over election outcomes, emphasizing a commitment to partnership regardless of the government’s composition.
Patel reiterated the U.S.’s interest in deepening cooperation with Pakistan and affirmed respect for the country’s democratic process, emphasizing shared strategic priorities between the two nations.