Boris Johnson looks
forward to working
together with Shehbaz


LONDON: United Kingdom’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Wednesday that he wanted to work with Pakistan’s newly elected premier Shehbaz Sharif.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson

PM Shehbaz was sworn in as the prime minister on April 11, following the ouster of the Imran Khan government through a no-confidence motion — making him the first premier to be removed through the democratic process.

“Congratulations to @CMShehbaz on his election as Prime Minister of Pakistan,” Johnson said in a tweet, where he share his aspirations for a future working relationship with his Pakistani counterpart.

“The UK & Pakistan have a longstanding relationship and our people share deep ties. I look forward to working together on areas of shared interest,” the UK’s PM added.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also felicitated Shehbaz on assuming the prime minister’s office.

Meanwhile, the Pentagon has hoped that the United States would 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 said in a press briefing Tuesday.

A file picture shows meeting Prime Minister Boris Johnson and then Chief Minister of Punjab Shehbaz Sharif.

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.”

Similarly, in a press briefing, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki had said that a democratic Pakistan was critical to the interests of the United States.

“We support the peaceful upholding of constitutional democratic principles, we don’t support one political party over another,” the press secretary had said.

Psaki added that the US values its long-standing cooperation with Pakistan and has always viewed a prosperous and democratic Pakistan as critical to US interests — that remains unchanged regardless of who the leadership is.