WASHINGTON: US Assistant Secretary of State Donald Lu reiterated the US government’s rejection of former Prime Minister Imran Khan’s allegations of conspiracy during a testimony before a subcommittee of the US panel.

Lu dismissed Khan’s claims as “conspiracy theory, lie, and complete falsehood,” emphasizing that there was no truth to the accusations.

Addressing the hearing titled ‘Pakistan After the elections: Examining the future of Democracy in Pakistan and the US Pakistan relationship,’ Lu underscored the importance of respecting Pakistan’s sovereignty and the democratic process. He highlighted the US State Department’s concerns regarding electoral abuses and violence surrounding the February 8 general elections in Pakistan.

Lu expressed particular concern about electoral abuses, violence, and harassment leading up to the polls, including attacks on police, politicians, and political gatherings by terrorist groups, as well as harassment and abuse of journalists. Despite these challenges, over 60 million Pakistanis, including over 21 million women, participated in the elections.

The US diplomat acknowledged the record number of female candidates, members of religious and minority groups, and young people running for parliamentary seats. He also noted the presence of over 5,000 independent election observers who reported that the conduct of the elections was largely competitive and orderly, albeit with some irregularities in result compilation.

Read more: Donald Lu highlights Pakistan poll irregularities in testimony to US congress committee

Lu commended the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) for forming a high-level committee to address thousands of petitions alleging rigging in the elections. He emphasized the US’s support for transparent and thorough investigations into irregularities, with accountability for those responsible.

The testimony comes amidst ongoing tensions between the US and Pakistan, fueled by Imran Khan’s public accusations against the US diplomat. Despite Khan’s claims, the US has repeatedly denied any involvement in conspiracies to remove him from office.

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