WASHINGTON  - The United States has condemned the threats by militant groups to disrupt May 11 national election in Pakistan, while voicing hope that eligible voters would exercise their franchise in a free and fair atmosphere.

“The United States condemns the recent violence that has targeted politicians and their supporters during the electoral campaign in Pakistan. We condemn recent statements by militant groups indicating their intent to disrupt Pakistan’s democratic process,” State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell told the daily press briefing on Thursday.

“So we support the right of the Pakistani people to participate fully in the election of their representatives and their ability to fulfill their aspirations for a peaceful, prosperous, and democratic nation,” the spokesman added.

The United States, in coordination with European Union partners, plans to participate in election observation efforts.

In answer to a question, he clarified, “We are working with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to help support a fair and transparent election process.”

 “But it is consistent with practices around the world, where there’s tradition of democracies hosting observers to support their efforts to conduct free and fair elections,” he said.

Washington, he said, looks forward to witnessing timely, transparent, free, and fair elections in Pakistan on May 11.

These elections will mark an important democratic transition, a historic development of which the people of Pakistan can be very proud, he said.

“We do not support any particular political party or individual candidate, and we look forward to engaging with the next democratically elected government,” the spokesman said.