The US has said it is looking forward to working with Pakistan's new government, led by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, as it refuted ousted premier Imran Khan's accusations of America's role in toppling his government.
Pakistan's relations with the US have been lukewarm, especially under the Biden administration. The ties touched a new low after 69-year-old Khan, who was ousted last week through a Parliament vote, accused the US of conspiring to topple his government. The US government has denied all of the allegations.
We congratulate Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on his election by the Pakistani parliament and look forward to working with him and his government, State Department Spokesperson Ned Price told reporters at his daily news conference on Thursday.
Price said that the relationship between the United States and Pakistan has been a vital one for almost 75 years. He said that they look forward to working with Pakistan's government to promote peace and prosperity in Pakistan and the broader region.
A day earlier, Secretary of State Antony Blinken congratulated Sharif and said the US values the bilateral relationship and is looking forward to continuing its long-standing cooperation, signalling Washington's intent to improve ties with Islamabad under the new regime.
In response to a question on Imran Khan's claims of the US role in overthrowing his government with the help of the Opposition parties, Price said there was no truth in it.
Our message has been clear and consistent. There is no truth to the allegations that have been put forward. We support the peaceful upholding of constitutional and democratic principles, including respect for human rights. He said that we don't support one political party over another, whether it's in Pakistan or elsewhere in the world.
The US has rebutted Khan's allegations several times earlier.
Price said that we support broader principles, including the rule of law and equal justice under the law.
A day earlier in the day, supporters of Khan organized anti-US protests in Washington DC. They attacked a Pakistani-American journalist and few community members as they continue to accuse the US of playing a role in regime change.
Khan claimed that Donald Lu, the Assistant Secretary, Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs, in the Department of State, was involved in a foreign conspiracy to topple his government.
Price said the US agrees with the assessment of the Pakistan military, which said that it has no evidence to suggest that the Biden administration has threatened or was involved in any conspiracy to get the ouster of Imran Khan's government.
Inter-Services Public Relations ISPR the media waing of Pakistan's army director general Major General Babar Iftikhar on Thursday said that the word conspiracy was not used in the statement issued after a meeting of the National Security Committee convened last month to discuss a controversial letter, which according to then prime minister Khan threatened to topple his government.
The powerful Pakistan Army, which has ruled the country for more than half of its 73 plus years of existence, has so far wielded considerable power in the matters of security and foreign policy.
Khan had issued a threat letter on March 27 at a public gathering before his ouster claimed that his government had been threatened by the US government and the opposition were involved in a conspiracy to topple him.