The United States refuted allegations on Thursday that it was interfering in Pakistan’s internal affairs by voicing support for beleaguered Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
In a statement issued on Thursday, the US Embassy said Washington was in no way involved in the negotiations or discussions between the parties.
“Any suggestion to the contrary is false and unhelpful to the dialogue between parties.”
The embassy statement added that the US has been carefully monitoring demonstrations being staged by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) in Islamabad and urged all sides to exercise restraint.
“Peaceful protests and freedom of expression are important aspects of democracy… We continue to urge all sides to refrain from violence, exercise restraint, and respect the rule of law.”
The statement also made it clear that the US would strongly oppose any efforts to impose extra-constitutional change to the political system.
“Violence and destruction of private property and government buildings are not acceptable means of resolving political differences.”
It added that the US firmly believes all parties should work together to resolve differences through peaceful dialogue in ways that strengthen Pakistan’s democratic institutions and rule of law.
On Wednesday, the State Department threw its weight behind Premier Nawaz and stressed that he was the constitutionally elected chief executive of the country. Hours after the statement, PTI chief Imran Khan strongly criticised the US for backing Nawaz and accused Washington of meddling in Pakistan’s internal matters.
The strong remarks by PTI chief prompted the US Embassy in Islamabad to deny his claims that Washington was involved in the process of discussions between the political parties.
Separately on Thursday US Ambassador Richard Olson met Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) chief Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain and senior party leader Chaudhry Parvez Elahi amid ongoing anti-government protests. A statement by the PML-Q media office said issues related to the current political situation were discussed during the meeting. The Chaudhry brothers also met the Chinese ambassador on Thursday.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 22nd, 2014.
Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.
For more information, please see our Comments FAQ