WASHINGTON (Reuters) – US Secretary of State Antony Blinken congratulated Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar and reaffirmed Washington’s continuous commitment to Pakistan’s economic progress.
“In light of the appointment of Anwaarul Haq Kakar as the new Interim Prime Minister of Pakistan, I extend my congratulations,” Blinken remarked on Twitter. As Pakistan prepares for impending honest elections in accordance with its constitutional norms and the protection of freedom of expression and assembly, we will continue to strengthen our joint commitment to economic prosperity.”
Congratulations to new Pakistan Interim Prime Minister @anwaar_kakar. As Pakistan prepares for free and fair elections, in accordance with its constitution and the rights to freedom of speech and assembly, we will continue to advance our shared commitment to economic prosperity.
— Secretary Antony Blinken (@SecBlinken) August 16, 2023
Blinken has been particularly active in delivering updates on Pakistan’s progress recently, having also made a statement following Pakistan’s successful negotiation of a standby agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
The US has emphasized that its relationship with Pakistan is founded on democratic ideals and the rule of law, and that these principles will continue to serve as the foundation for future cooperation between the two countries.
Observers take this attitude as an indication of the Biden administration’s willingness for Pakistan’s parliamentary elections to be held on schedule. These elections must take place within 90 days, according to the Constitution. Nonetheless, there is still considerable skepticism about the timeliness of these elections.
The fresh census findings approved during the last week of the PDM government’s mandate might add to the delay.
The acceptance of these results indicates that elections will be held using the revised census data, necessitating a redrawing of electoral seats by the Election Commission of Pakistan. The complete procedure might take up to four months.
Raja Riaz, the former opposition leader in the National Assembly, stated in an interview that elections are expected to take place in February 2024.