Pakistan weighs tit-for-tat resolution after US election probe demand

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DNA

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistani government is mulling a tit-for-tat response to the US House of Representatives resolution demanding an investigation into the February 8 elections.

“In response to [US Congress], we will also bring about a resolution. We must show our sovereignty, we must show our unity, we must show that we mean business. This [resolution] makes no sense,” Foreign Minister Ishaq Dar said while speaking on the floor of the National Assembly.

The US House of Representatives, earlier this week, in an overwhelming majority, voted to demand a “full and independent investigation of claims of interference or irregularities” in the polls.

The resolution HR 901 was passed by a massive 368 against seven votes on Tuesday, which makes 85% of the total American lawmakers in the legislature.

The move triggered a strong response from Islamabad, with the Foreign Office saying it “stems from an incomplete understanding of the political situation and electoral process in Pakistan”.

The resolution said it was to express support for democracy and human rights in Pakistan and requested the government to uphold democratic and electoral institutions, human rights, and the rule of law.

It also condemned “any effort to subvert the political, electoral, or judicial processes of Pakistan.”

In his speech today, Dar maintained that the Pakistani parliament could also pass resolutions on matters related to other nations, but the South Asian country refrains from such things.

“I believe that the [US] should reciprocate mutual dignity and respect,” Dar said, noting that a draft resolution has been prepared, which would be shared with the parliamentary leaders — from the treasury and opposition benches.

“We should come in unity with a clear resolution against the US resolution,” the deputy prime minister said.

While rejecting the impression that Pakistan faces isolation at the international level, he reminded the house that Pakistan was recently elected as the United Nations Security Council’s non-permanent member, showing the global community’s trust in the incumbent government.

Meanwhile, the PTI, whose members won a majority number of seats in the National Assembly, welcomed the US resolution, terming it a move in the right direction.

“A positive push in the right direction, along the lines of our own constitution, for democracy, rule of law, civilian control over our armed forces (not vice versa), personal freedoms, etc,” PTI’s Arif Alvi said on X.

Moving on, Dar said Pakistan would use the UNSC’s forum effectively to raise the Kashmir dispute and the situation in Gaza.

In response to a member’s query, the minister said that relations with Afghanistan are on the priority agenda of the government and they are in contact with the Afghan government.

“Dates are also being worked out for his visit to Kabul,” Dar shared.