Poll Generally Observed As Successful
Pakistan has successfully conducted historic elections paving the way for the country’s first transition from one elected government to another.
Reports say Saturday’s election saw a large turnout amid threats of Taliban attacks.
Counting of votes is underway. However, former Pakistani PM Nawaz Sharif has already claimed victory in the elections, based on partial results.
The results reportedly showed a big lead for Mr. Sharif’s Muslim League party.
Media reports emerged that the governing Pakistan People’s Party has lost many seats.
Although the poll was generally observed as successful, violence on Saturday also killed at least 24 people.
US Congratulates Pakistan For Successful Elections
US Secretary of State John Kerry issued a statement saying that Pakistan’s national and provincial assembly elections mark an historic step in the country’s democratic journey.
He says the Pakistani people stood up resiliently to threats by violent extremists.
The US pledges it will be be working with the new government to advance shared interests including a peaceful, more prosperous and stable future for Pakistan and the region.
US Shares Interest in Stability and Prosperity of Pakistan
As both the US and Pakistan are working through their differences constructively to enhance bilateral relations, the United States of America has underlined its commitment to the people of Pakistan.
The US believes that it can achieve a balanced approach in a relationship that respects Pakistan’s sovereignty and interests but also represents concerns about national security.
The US shares the goal of growing its markets and increasing trade; and the desire for a stable, secure, and peaceful Afghanistan; and the belief in a strong, responsible civilian government.
The United States Respects Pakistan’s Sovereignty
America respects Pakistan’s sovereignty and is committed to working together in pursuit of shared objectives on the basis of mutual interests and mutual respect.
Both countries tackled the importance of taking coordinated action against terrorists who threaten Pakistan, the United States, and the region; of supporting Afghanistan’s security, stability, and efforts towards reconciliation; and of continuing to work together to advance the many other shared interests.
In addition, The United States of America reaffirmed its commitment to enhance and advance its bilateral relationship with Pakistan.
Both countries share interest in energy, economy and security
Both countries engaged in discussion on how they can expand and enhance economic, security and political cooperation.
One interest both countries share is the growth of their economies to create jobs and prosperity for all of their citizens.
Both countries continue to cooperate on the Kerry-Lugar-Berman funding.
Since October of 2009, the US provided over $2.6 billion in civilian assistance to Pakistan, including more than $800 million in emergency assistance to respond to the floods and the conflict.
The United States recognizes Pakistan’s need when it comes to energy as well.
In fact, the United States has collaborated with the Pakistani Government to fund work on the Tarbela Dam, and other major energy projects.
The energy project has expanded Pakistan’s electricity-generation capacity to over 400 megawatts to bring electricity to over 6 million Pakistanis.
By the end of 2013, both countries’ goal is to have another 900 megawatts to the national grid to provide electricity to over 10 million Pakistanis, which is critically important to the people of Pakistan, State Department spokesman, Mr. Nides stressed.
The United States also continues to sponsor the world’s largest Fulbright program in Pakistan, which brought more than 1,000 Pakistani scholars traveling to the United States since 2005.
United States – Pakistan Relationship Vital To Shared Security and Economic Prosperity
The United States continues to assert the relevance of cooperation with Pakistan to American national security.
On March 2009, President Obama, President Karzai, President Zardari, and senior members of their governments reaffirmed their commitments to a peaceful and cooperative future for Afghanistan and Pakistan and to combat the spread of extremism and terrorism.
The three countries resolved to strengthen their strategic partnership based on a shared commitment toward promoting enduring peace, security, stability and economic cooperation in Afghanistan and Pakistan. They also expressed a shared desire to deepen the strategic dialogue between Afghanistan and Pakistan and to continue a trilateral dialogue. The United States reaffirmed its strong commitment to the strategic partnerships at the bilateral level with both Pakistan and Afghanistan.
See also this related Pakistan Elections story: Imran Khan Post Elections 2013 in Pakistan