Pak has been an important ally for 75 years: US’s Blinken’s message to new PM

Apr 14, 2022 06:14 AM IST

Amid the political turbulence in Pakistan over the last few weeks, Imran Khan had alleged an international plot over his ouster. He even named a US diplomat. 

Pakistan has been an "important partner on wide-ranging mutual interests for nearly 75 years", the United States' secretary of state Antony Blinken said in a statement as he congratulated the country's new prime minister, Shehbaz Sharif, who was elected this week after several weeks of political turbulence. In a statement, Blinken said, "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."

Pakistan's Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif gestures during the guard of honour ceremony at the Prime Minister house in Islamabad, (via REUTERS)
Pakistan's Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif gestures during the guard of honour ceremony at the Prime Minister house in Islamabad, (via REUTERS)

The remarks come even as Imran Khan continues to hurl allegations of "foreign conspiracy" over his ouster as he became the first prime minister in the country on Sunday to lose power through a no confidence motion. 174 lawmakers in the 342-member National Assembly voted in favour of the no-trust vote.

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"The United States views a strong, prosperous, and democratic Pakistan as essential for the interests of both of our countries," Blinken said in his remarks.

Khan, 69, had repeatedly alleged that billions were being spent by his rivals to ensure the fall of his government as he was accused of derailing the country's economy. He even named a US diplomat, Donald LU, linking him to the alleged plot.

However, Shehbaz Sharif, brother of three-time former Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif, had rebuffed the claims. So did the US. 

Earlier this week, as Pakistan's new government was elected, White House's Jen Psaki, at a media briefing, said: “We value our long standing cooperation with Pakistan and have always viewed a prosperous and democratic Pakistan as critical to the US interests. That remains unchanged regardless of who the leadership is." The White House press secretary also stressed that the US "does not prefer one party over the other".

Responding to the White House's remarks, Sharif was quoted as saying in a statement cited by local media: "The new government wishes to constructively and positively engage with the US to promote shared goals of peace, security and development in the region."

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