• Discusses with FM Jilani US-Pakistan partnership, economic stability, continued engagement with IMF
  • US envoy also expresses optimism general elections will be within legal timeframe

WASHINGTON/ISLAMABAD: Senior US diplomat Victoria Nuland spoke on Tuesday with Pakistani Foreign Minister Jalil Abbas Jilani and discussed the importance of “timely, free and fair elections” in the South Asian nation, the US State Department said.

“Acting Deputy Secretary Nuland and Foreign Minister Jilani discussed the importance of timely, free and fair elections in a manner consistent with Pakistan’s laws and constitution,” the US State Department said in a statement.

According to a statement issued by the US State Department today, Nuland congratulated FM Jilani on his appointment.

“They discussed broadening and deepening the US-Pakistan partnership on issues of mutual concern, including Pakistan’s economic stability, prosperity and continued engagement with the IMF (International Monetary Fund),” it said.

The talks focused on “Pakistan’s economic stability, prosperity, and its continued engagement with the IMF,” the department’s spokesperson Matthew Miller stated.

The leaders discussed the importance of timely, free and fair elections in a manner consistent with Pakistan’s laws and constitution,“ he added.

Separately, in a post on social media platform X (erstwhile Twitter), Nuland said: “Appreciated our call today on our shared commitment to our bilateral relationship and Pakistan’s economic stability, security, and prosperity.”

 

The foreign minister is expected to accompany the interim prime minister to the 78th UNGA in New York next month. The Pakistani delegation, which will also include Shamshad, is hoping to have a series of meetings with US officials during their stay in New York.

At the same, United States (US) Ambassador in Pakistan Donald Blome on Wednesday expressed his optimism the general elections in Pakistan would be held according to the timeframe given in the Constitution.

“It is hoped that elections will be fair and transparent and in accordance with the law,” he said.

“It is hoped that the people of Pakistan will elect their future leadership through elections,” he added.

Pakistani politics has been in a crisis for over a year, with former Prime Minister and PTI chief – who was ousted in a parliamentary vote of no confidence last year – being at the center of it.

A Pakistani high court on Tuesday suspended the jailed former prime minister’s sentence on corruption charges, but he will remain behind bars as a judge had already ordered his detention in another case. The conviction of PTI chief, who remains Pakistan’s most popular leader according to opinion polls, has also barred him from contesting elections for five years.

Pakistan swore in a caretaker cabinet under interim Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar in mid-August, tasking it with running the country until fresh elections, which may be delayed beyond November as constituency boundaries are redrawn.

The caretaker cabinet’s top job will be to lead Pakistan towards economic stabilization, with the $350 billion economy treading a narrow recovery path after getting a last-minute $3 billion bailout deal from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), averting a sovereign debt default.

The election commission earlier this month said new constituencies based on the latest census would be finalized by Dec. 14. After that, the commission will confirm an election date.

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