ISLAMABAD: In the face of political crisis, the United States and Britain – two nations that wield considerable influence over Islamabad – have assured the prime minister’s closest confidant, Ishaq Dar that they back democracy in Pakistan.
The United States Ambassador to Pakistan, Richard Olson and United Kingdom’s High Commissioner Philip Barton, on Tuesday held separate meetings with Finance Minister Ishaq Dar in his office at Q-Block, according to an official announcement.
The flurry of diplomatic activities comes 48 hours before Pakistan Tahreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) planned ‘Azadi march’ from Lahore to Islamabad. Official sources said that both envoys discussed the political situation with the finance minister, who is considered as a close aide to the prime minister.
Sources familiar with the development revealed that both the envoys were keen to know about the government’s stance and its strategy to deal with the protests that have virtually paralysed the government.
The British High Commissioner said that the United Kingdom attaches great importance to democracy in Pakistan and that the previous government completed its constitutional tenure, according to a handout issued by ministry of finance.
The finance minister informed the high commissioner that the government firmly believed in the democratic process and elections were held to the satisfaction of the UNDP, Fafen and international observers.
Sources said that Washington’s top diplomat was also keen to know about political developments in Islamabad.
Reportedly, in his interaction with various political parties and media persons, the US envoy has described the prevailing political situation as ‘serious’.
When contacted, the US Embassy spokesman declined to comment whether the two sides discussed the prevailing political situation.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 13th,2014.