I’m not here for Pakistani politics, but to advocate for democracy and human rights, says Brad Sherman

US congress ceremony displays photos of Imran Riaz, Khadija Shah; videos of alleged police brutality against PTI workers shown on TV

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Photos of missing journalist Imran Riaz and PTI’s captive supporter Khadija Shah were put up in the hall during the ceremony, as well as videos of alleged police brutality against PTI workers were also shown on TV monitors.

On Wednesday afternoon, a briefing on ‘Human Rights and Democracy in Pakistan’ was held at the Rayburn Building of the US Congress, which was jointly sponsored by Democrat Congressman Brad Sherman and Jim Costa.

In his opening remarks, Congressman Brad Sherman said he was “not here to enter Pakistani politics, but to advocate for democracy and human rights”. ‘

He claimed that some of those arrested after May 9 may have indulged in violent activities but the majority were protesting peacefully.

Talking about the “detention and disappearance” of journalists, he said, “Imran Riaz’s kidnappers should at least tell his family where he is.” ‘

Co-sponsor Jim Costa claimed that in Pakistan’s short history, “two issues are permanent”, one is corruption and the other is the establishment’s interference in politics.

He urged all stakeholders to “try to put an end to this arrangement and bring about the changes we all want to see”. ‘

Kavisi Mufume, who has been a member of the House since 1987 and has visited Pakistan on several occasions, said the country should “clear its way to show that it is truly a democracy”. ‘

Congressmen Brad Sherman, Jim Costa and others urged the Pakistani government to announce the date of the election and allow international monitoring to ensure that the process is “free, fair and transparent.” ’

In addition, Congressman Mike Levin stressed the need to ensure that “human rights and democratic values are upheld in countries like Pakistan, where violations are common.”

Congressman Ted Liu noted that Pakistan is “an important ally of the United States” and upholding human rights and democracy will further strengthen these ties.

Congressman Adam Schiff stressed the need to stand up for “democracy, freedom of expression and human rights” and suggested announcing an election date.

Apart from Brad Sherman and Jim Costa, Dr Asif Mahmood, a Pakistani-American from California, who is also the Democratic candidate for Congress, was also among the hosts.