WASHINGTON: United Nations human rights envoy Hina Jilani has advised the United States against sending observers to the upcoming elections in Pakistan which according to her was already rigged by President Pervez Musharraf. Addressing a congressional hearing here on the political turmoil in Pakistan, she accused that President Pervez Musharraf had already taken steps to manipulate the outcome of the polls and had destroyed much of the judiciary and the press.
“There is no point in monitoring the elections or watching the poll – the rigging has already happened,” a foreign news agency quoted Ms Jilani as saying. Freedom expression is curtailed and freedom of assembly is totally curtailed, freedom, she said. “Under these conditions, the election that is going to take place on 8 January has very little credibility,” she said. She called on the outside world to help redress what was wrong in Pakistan “by analysing and making itself more aware of the situation in Pakistan and getting the facts correct.“All we ask the international community to do is to support us and further our objectives rather than stand in our way,” she said.
The UN envoy was responding to questions asked by Democratic lawmakers Sheila Jackson Lee and Jim Moran who wanted her advice on the wisdom of going to Pakistan as part of a congressional delegation to monitor the election process.Mr Moran said there were doubts among lawmakers over the trip, because “if they were to do it in the first two weeks of January, it will show an implicit support for President Musharraf and, in effect, the process of confirming his election.”
He said that there were also doubts that if the delegation went after the vote, the government would be “using us to show American support – bipartisan support – which may not be appropriate.”-SANA