Even as Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is trying to shore up support in the UN…
Yashwant Raj, Washington: The White House has abruptly shut down on suspicion of fraud an ongoing online
petition that asked it to designate Pakistan a state sponsor of terrorism, citing a law introduced in the House of Representatives last week.
In a blurb headlined, ‘Closed Petition’, the White House’s ‘We the People’ web page, which hosts the initiative inviting petitions to the administration, said on Monday, “This petition has been archived because it did not meet the signature requirements. It can no longer be signed.”
The petition had, until October 21, to gather 100,000 signatures to merit a response from the White House under the rules of the programme, which it had already collected, and several times more. At closure, the petition had 625,723 signatures.The website said “no more”, but a White House official told Hindustan Times on condition of anonymity that there were “some technical issues with some of the signatures” that needed to be looked into. Some of the signatures “could potentially be removed if there is evidence of fraud” consistent with the terms of participation, the official added.
Supporters of the petition, which had generated considerable excitement among Indian Americans and in India, will be disappointed, especially as a counter-petition demanding a similar designation for India — as a “terrorist state” — was still up on the We the People page; although way behind, with nearly 66,000 signatures.
The first petition seeking the Pakistan designation was started by an individual known by initials ‘RG’ on September 21, the day after Republican congressmen Ted Poe and Dana Rohrabacher introduced a legislation in the House of Representatives demanding Pakistan be designated a state sponsor of terrorism.
Citing the legislation in the petition, the sponsor wrote, it (designating Pakistan a state sponsor of terrorism) was “important to the people of United State of America, India and many other countries which are continuously affected by Pakistan sponsored terrorism”.