Tuesday, April 19, 2022
US State Department spokesperson Ned Price on Tuesday said the United States wants to work closely with the new government of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on regional and international issues.
The latest statement by the US government is of utmost important as ex-prime minister Imran Khan had repeatedly blamed the US for backing the joint Opposition to oust him from power through a no-trust motion.
Imran Khan was of the view that the US government supported the government change in Pakistan and to prove his point of view, Khan had also highlighted a letter and claimed that the US government threatened Pakistan of dire consequences if he remains in power.
However, after a series of events, eventually on April 10, Imran Khan was ousted as the prime minister of Pakistan from office through a no-confidence motion after the National Assembly debated on the matter for more than 12 hours and the political situation in the country took a critical turn.
Shehbaz Sharif then took oath as the 23rd Prime Minister of Pakistan after he being elected by the joint Opposition.
Today, during a regular press briefing, the US State Department spokesperson termed Pakistan an important partner of the US government.
“We view Pakistan as an important stakeholder and important partner with whom we are engaging and have engaged as we work together to bring about an Afghanistan that is more stable, is more secure, is more prosperous, and importantly an Afghanistan that respects the basic and fundamental rights of its people, all of its people, including its minorities, its women, its girls,” he said.
Price also appreciated the US relationship with Pakistan and vowed to continue working with the new government.
“For almost 75 years, our relationship with Pakistan has been a vital one and we look forward to continuing that work with the new government in Pakistan across regional and international issues,” he said.
“This is work that has a potential to promote peace and prosperity in Pakistan and throughout the region,” he added.
Price went on to say, “we have already congratulated the new Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on his election, adding, “We look forward to working closely with his government.”
On Thursday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken had congratulated Shahbaz Sharif on becoming the new Prime Minister of Pakistan and vowed to continue cooperation with his new government.
“Pakistan has been an important partner on wide-ranging mutual interests for nearly 75 years and we value our relationship. The United States congratulates newly-elected Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and we look forward to continuing our long-standing cooperation with Pakistan’s government,” a statement from the US State Department read.
After Shehbaz Sharif's election as the new Prime Minister of Pakistan, the US Department of Defense also issued a statement and hoped to continue its “healthy” military-to-military ties with Pakistan despite the change in the government.
"We do have a healthy military-to-military relationship with Pakistani armed forces. And we have every expectation that that will be able to continue to be the case," Pentagon Press Secretary John F Kirby had said.
The Pentagon official said the US recognises that it has shared interests with Pakistan with respect to security and stability. "We recognise that Pakistan plays a key role in the region."
Ruling out any US military role in Pakistan, he said that America recognises that Pakistan and its people are, themselves, victims of terrorist attacks "inside their own country".
"I don't foresee any US military role here. And I'm certainly not going to, again, wade into internal domestic politics in Pakistan," he told a journalist at the press briefing.