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Pakistan: Elections

Volume 467: debated on Thursday 15 November 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what stage has been reached in the implementation of his Department’s financial support for the electoral process in Pakistan, as announced in January; and what implications the current situation in Pakistan has for this programme. (164346)

We have approved £3.5 million to support the electoral process in Pakistan, including strengthening the administrative capacity of the Election Commission of Pakistan and supporting civil society work to increase turnout and educate voters. £1.34 million of the £3.5 million has been spent.

While we welcome President Musharraf’s undertaking to hold elections on schedule, we remain deeply concerned about the situation in Pakistan. We have called on President Musharraf to: restore the constitution and create the conditions necessary to guarantee free and fair elections on schedule in January; release all political prisoners, including members of the judiciary and human rights activists; energetically pursue reconciliation with the political opposition; honour his commitment to step down as Chief of Army Staff and relax restrictions on the media.

We are keeping our support for elections under review.