Ahead of the July 25 elections, the National Commission for Justice and Peace (NCJP) of the Pakistan Catholic Bishops’ Conference (PCBC) issued a statement saying the elections must express the will of voters with the participation of every community. Signed by NCJP president Archbishop Joseph Arshad of Islamabad-Rawalpindi Diocese, national director Fr Emmanuel Yousaf and executive director Cecil Shane Chaudhry, the statement demanded that “elections be transparent, that every step of the electoral process be easily understood and be open to public scrutiny by all interested stakeholders (voters, political parties, external observers). Furthermore, all results must be independently verified.”
As reported by Vatican news, His Grace Archbishop Arshad, the president of Pakistan’s Catholic bishops, remarked that “Democracy is, in essence, people who work and walk together to support the common good.” His Excellency Archbishop Arshad expressed satisfaction that the democratic process is going ahead with the elections, which, he said, is very important for the country. However, he expressed fear that without any clear winner, the process for development and progress will suffer.
The NCJP shared the concern of the citizens about “an uncertain social climate with respect to vital sectors in people’s lives, particularly health, education, safety, the promotion of solid human values and international responsibility.”