Rights group warns of ‘blatant’ bid to manipulate Pakistan vote
ISLAMABAD, July 16: Pakistan's human rights commission on Monday slammed "blatant, aggressive and unabashed" attempts to manipulate the upcoming election, as politicians expressed security fears following one of the country's deadliest attacks.
A string of attacks has killed 175 people across the country in the past week, and there have been widespread allegations that the powerful military is meddling in the run-up to the July 25 vote.
The Election Commission has vowed to go ahead with the vote "at all costs".
But the independent Human Rights Commission of Pakistan warned it was "gravely concerned over what it sees as blatant, aggressive and unabashed attempts to manipulate the outcome of the upcoming elections".
"While it is critical that the polls are held as scheduled, there are now ample grounds to doubt their legitimacy -- with alarming implications for Pakistan's transition to an effective democracy," it said in a statement.
A suicide blast at a political rally in the southwestern province of Balochistan last Friday killed 149 people.
It was the second deadliest militant attack in Pakistan's long battle with violent extremism, surpassed only by an assault on a school in 2014 which left more than 150 people dead. -AFP