US agrees with Pak
Army on no
‘conspiracy’ to oust
Imran Khan Govt


He said senior police officers had been assigned the task to oversee the investigation. While dispelling impression of any favour to the suspects, he said instructions had been issued to have them punished through court.

Mr Sultan said the clash between the two sides occurred when their vehicles collided. He said the suspects used iron rods and injured the officer. As people gathered there, he said, the attackers fled and police acted swiftly and arrested them.

Salman Rafique told the media that he had condemned the attack and handed over his employees to police shortly after the incident. He said he would visit the house of the injured officer to inquire after him.

In a late night media talk, injured army officer’s lawyer Barrister Mian Ali Ashfaq said the complainant had submitted a supplementary statement to police and demanded an impartial inquiry into the case while determining the role of Khwaja Salman Rafique and Hafiz Nauman.

US State Department spokesman Ned Price

He said the family had no personal grudge against both MPAs and just wanted to investigate their role in the incident of inhuman torture on the army officer. He said it was the responsibility of the police to get the CCTV footage and have the forensic analysis of the mobile phones of the suspects.

“We have submitted a piece of evidence to police and hope they will investigate the matter on merit,” he said.

Gen Iftikhar said the military’s stance on the cable was formulated after a thorough investigation by an intelligence agency.

The NSC, however, had noted that the message conveyed by a State Department official was tantamount to “blatant interference in the internal affairs of Pakistan”.

At a press briefing on Thursday, Price dismissed the accusations leveled by Imran, saying “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 told the briefing.

The State Department official said the US supported broader principles, including the rule of law and equal justice under the law.

He also underlined that the United States looked forward to working with newly elected Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and his government “to promote peace and prosperity in Pakistan and the broader region”.

Price said the relationship between the United States and Pakistan had been a vital one for the last 75 years. “You probably saw a statement that we released from the Secretary last night regarding the selection of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif,” he added.

US Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken

WASHINGTON: US Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken on Wednesday congratulated newly-elected Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif.

Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken on Wednesday congratulated newly-elected Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and vowed to continue its long-standing cooperation with Pakistan’s government.

Shehbaz was elected the 23rd prime minister of Pakistan on Monday after his predecessor, Imran Khan, was removed from office through a no-confidence vote last week.

In a statement issued last night, Blinken expressed that Pakistan had been an important partner on wide-ranging mutual interests for nearly 75 years and US valued their relationship. “The United States views a strong, prosperous and democratic Pakistan as essential for the interests of both countries,” he added.

Responding to the statement, the Prime Minister’s Office reaffirmed the need for cooperation with United States. “The new government wishes to constructively and positively engage with the US to promote shared goals of peace, security and development in the region,” it tweeted.

The PMO also highlighted the need for deepening the relationship on the principles of equality, mutual interest and mutual benefit.

Blinken’s comments come a day after Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby said that the US had a “healthy military-to-military relationship with Pakistani armed forces”, adding that “we have every expectation that will be able to continue to be the case”.

“We recognise that Pakistan plays a key role in the region. We recognise that Pakistan and the Pakistani people are, themselves, victims of terrorist attacks inside their own country,” he added.

In response to a question on allegations of the ousted premier against the US for its role in regime change, Kirby had declined to comment and said that US would not talk about Pakistan’s domestic politics.

Ties between Islamabad and Washington touched a new low after former prime minister Imran Khan accused the US of conspiring to dislodge his government. He based his allegation on a diplomatic cable in which it was reportedly said that a State Department official had warned of consequences for bilateral ties if the no-confidence motion against then PM Imran Khan failed.

Washington had denied the allegation. Ties with the US came particularly were already under stress since February when former PM Imran Khan went ahead with his planned trip to Moscow, which coincided with Russia’s military onslaught of Ukraine.

Later, Pakistan abstained from voting on a United Nations General Assembly resolution condemning Russia’s actions and demanding its immediate withdrawal from Ukraine even though the US and its European allies had urged Islamabad to support the resolution. Mending fences with the US would be one of the top foreign policy priorities for the new government.