The White House October 4 abruptly stopped accepting signatures for a petition that sought to designate Pakistan a state sponsor of terrorism, saying it has been archived as it did not meet the “signature requirements”.
A message saying “This petition has been archived because it did not meet the signature requirements. It can no longer be signed” was posted on the White House’s ‘We the People’ web page, which hosts the initiative inviting petitions to the administration.
No further explanation has been given by the White House on closing the petition for signature.
It requires at least 100,000 signatures to qualify for a response from the Obama Administration.
An initiative of US President Barack Obama, “We the People”, the online petition service at the White House website provides a window to American citizens to campaign before the administration on a particular issue.
Usually it is open for a month for the people to sign, but some of the signatures might not have had met the terms of participation. And it is likely that some of these signatures could be removed if there is evidence of fraud.
The reason for suspension was not clear and there is no information on whether it will return after weeding out the bad signatures or the process will have to start afresh.
As per the participation rules, every individual is allowed only one email account. The individual must be over 13 and cannot sign the same petition more than once.
An individual with initials ‘RG’ had started the first petition 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”.
The benchmark was reached in less than a week, and in less than two weeks, the petition crossed half a million signatures.
It may come as a big disappointment to the Indian-American community in the US as well in India.
Meanwhile, a counter-petition by Pakistani Americans demanding a similar designation for India — as a “terrorist state” — was still up on the We the People page. It has received nearly 66,000 signatures.
“India is involved in spreading terrorism and in bloody proxy wars against its adjoining countries particularly Islamic Republic of Pakistan,” the petition alleged.