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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

May 15, 2013 at 7:32 AM

Pakistani elections

Election process corrupt

A supporter of Pakistan Muslim League-N party releases fireworks to celebrate their party victory in the parliamentary election outside the party's headquarters in Lahore, Pakistan. (Anjum Naveed / The Associated Press)

A supporter of Pakistan Muslim League-N party releases fireworks to celebrate their party victory in the parliamentary election outside the party’s headquarters in Lahore, Pakistan. (Anjum Naveed / The Associated Press)

As a Pakistani living in Seattle, the past two days have seen me glued to my computer, following Pakistan’s national elections [“Pakistan’s ex-leader poised to win,” page one, May 12]. Both Pakistani and international media have failed to provide a complete picture of what is actually happening.Social media is full of eyewitness accounts and visual evidence of blatant rigging by both the victorious party, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, and by the Muttahida Quami Movement.

Right at this moment, large numbers of people are out on the streets peacefully protesting against the rigging and demanding re-election in certain constituencies. There has been at least one instance of the police and other individuals using force against the protesters, including a brief round of weapons firing, which the local media has barely acknowledged.

I have heard firsthand accounts from friends and family who have seen rigging carried out in various forms — officers and voters at polling stations being threatened with guns, the tearing up of filled ballots, purposeful eight-hour delays in opening up polling stations as people waited in line, men looking over women’s shoulders as they voted with scarcely veiled threats, and more. The international media need to take note immediately.

Nabeeha Chaudhary, Seattle

0 Comments | More in Election | Topics: elections, Pakistan

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