By: Chandrashekar Bhat
THE US has said that it was looking forward to working with Pakistan’s new government led by prime minister Shehbaz Sharif.
Pakistan’s relations with the US have been lukewarm, especially under the Biden administration. The ties touched a new low after Imran Khan, who was ousted as Pakistan’s prime minister earlier this month through a Parliament vote, had accused the US of conspiring to topple his government.
Washington has bluntly denied the allegations.
“We’ve congratulated prime minister Shehbaz Sharif on his election by the Pakistani parliament, and we look forward to working with him and his government,” state department spokesperson Ned Price told reporters at his daily news conference on Thursday (14).
Price said for almost 75 years, the relationship between the United States and Pakistan has been “a vital one”.
“We look forward to continuing that work with Pakistan’s government to promote peace and prosperity in Pakistan and the broader region,” he said.
A day earlier, secretary of state Antony Blinken said the US valued the bilateral relationship and was looking forward to continuing the long-standing cooperation, signalling Washington’s intent to improve ties with Islamabad under the new regime.
Responding to a question on Khan’s claims of the US role in overthrowing his government with the help of the opposition parties, Price said there is “no truth” in it.
“Our message has been clear and consistent on this. There is no truth whatsoever to the allegations that have been put forward. We support the peaceful upholding of constitutional and democratic principles, including respect for human rights. We do not support, whether it’s in Pakistan or anywhere else around the world, one political party over another,” he said.
A day earlier, supporters of Khan had organised anti-US protests in Washington DC. They attacked a Pakistani-American journalist and a few community members as they accused the US of playing a role in the regime change.