Pakistan polls free, fair and transparent: OIC observers

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Islamabad, Feb 19 (UNI) Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) observers today said the general elections in Pakistan were conducted in a free, fair and transparent manner and commended the security measures taken to ensure peaceful polls.

''We are quite happy and highly impressed by the arrangements made for the conduct of free, fair, transparent and peaceful elections,'' a five-member OIC delegation told Chief Commissioner, Islamabad Hamid Ali Khan at his office here The observers said that they visited several polling stations across the country yesterday and monitored the voting process.

The polling process was very smooth and transparent and the people exercised their right to vote in a very peaceful and orderly manner, they said.

The observers also appreciated the measures taken by the government for the security of foreign observers, saying they had free access to polling stations.

Director OIC Foreign Office Ahmed Ali Sirohey was also present during the meeting.

More than 500 international observers were present in Pakistan to monitor yesterday's polls.

Allegations of rigging had overshadowed the elections, with the Opposition convinced that the government would not allow free and fair polls.

An audio tape was released by the Human Rights Watch on February 15 in which Attorney General Malik Mohammad Qayyum was allegedly heard telling someone over the phone that the polls would be ''massively rigged''.

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