INTERNATIONAL OUTCRY OVER RIGGED PAKISTANI ELECTIONS: Pakistani Australians Appeal to Australian Leadership

By Syed Atiq ul Hassan, Sydney Australia, Feb 21, 2024

Syed Atiq ul Hassan

In the wake of the recently held Pakistani elections on February 8, 2024, international observers have denounced the process as heavily rigged. Reports from international media correspondents stationed in Pakistan during the election period have consistently highlighted widespread irregularities, leading to widespread recognition of the lack of fairness and transparency in the electoral process.

Analysts worldwide have openly criticized Pakistan’s election commission, judiciary, establishment, and intelligence services for orchestrating a manipulation of the results in favour of the Pakistan Muslim League (N) and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), allegedly at the expense of independently backed candidates, particularly those associated with Imran Khan’s PTI.

It is reported that over 50 billion rupees from the national treasury were expended on these rigged elections, exacerbating Pakistan’s already substantial public debt and liabilities, which currently stand at an estimated Rs. 62.881 trillion or US$223.86 billion, equivalent to 74.3 percent of the country’s GDP.

The caretaker government, along with key figures such as the army chief, election commissioner, and chief justice, are now under intense scrutiny, with calls for them to be held accountable under the provisions of Pakistan’s constitution.

Numerous government officials, including commissioners, assistant commissioners, return officers, and presiding officers involved in the (rigged) electoral process, have expressed a willingness to come forward with revelations regarding the irregularities, despite fears for their safety. Some have already fled the country, while others have allegedly been subjected to intimidation and arbitrary detention.

It has been alleged by some former officials that top figures controlling the electoral process received bribes amounting to 13 billion rupees from Nawaz Sharif, further underscoring the pervasive nature of corruption within the political establishment.

Imran Khan and his PTI have been vocal in exposing what they perceive as systemic corruption and malpractice within the political system, rallying support from a significant portion of Pakistan’s youth population, which constitutes 60 percent of the electorate. Utilizing social media platforms, Khan’s supporters have disseminated evidence of wrongdoing, corruption, and electoral fraud, garnering international attention and condemnation.

The resilience displayed by voters who braved intimidation and threats from authorities to cast their ballots underscores the desire of the Pakistani people for genuine democracy. They demand a government that operates with transparency and accountability, with all institutions, including the judiciary, law enforcement agencies, bureaucracy, and military, acting in the best interests of the nation.

As a significant diaspora community comprising 10 million individuals residing in countries such as the USA, UK, Europe, Australia, and the Middle East, Pakistani Australians have historically contributed to their homeland’s economy and have proven to be patriotic citizens. In light of the recent electoral turmoil, they are now appealing to their respective governments, including the Australian authorities, to exert pressure on the Pakistani leadership to rectify the irregularities, uphold democratic principles, and ensure a peaceful transfer of power to the duly elected representatives. We believe stealing or rigging people votes is a biggest crime in any fair and just democratic system.

To the Australian Government, Prime Minister, Foreign Ministers, Parliamentarians, and the Australian High Commissioner in Islamabad, we, the Pakistani Australian Community, earnestly appeal for your assistance in addressing the current tumultuous situation in Pakistan. Pakistani Australians stand for honesty, integrity, and a fair democratic system akin to the one upheld in Australia. We implore you to utilize your diplomatic influence to encourage Pakistani leadership to address the prevailing chaos, rectify the malpractices, and facilitate a peaceful transition of power to the rightful winners elected by the people of Pakistan. (The writer is a Sydney-based journalist, political analyst, writer and a commentator. He is a Senior Community Representative. His email is ).

Syed Atiq ul Hassan

Sydney-based journalist, political analyst and a commentator,

Editor-in-Chief, Tribune International (Australia) –

Senior Community Representative.

Mob +61 479 143 628

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