According to Pentagon spokesman John Kirby, the US has a “strong military-to-military relationship with Pakistani armed forces,” and “we have every expectation that will be the case in the future.”
The remarks from the top Pentagon official come only two days after Shehbaz Sharif was elected Prime Minister of Pakistan, succeeding Imran Khan, who was deposed by parliament last week.
In a press conference on Tuesday, Kirby said the US and Pakistan shared interests in “that part of the world” in terms of security and stability.
“We acknowledge Pakistan’s importance in the region. We acknowledge that Pakistan and its people have been victims of terrorist acts within their own country “Added he.
Kirby declined to comment when asked about Shehbaz Sharif’s election as prime minister and claims made by the former premier Imran Khan against the US for its role in regime transition.
He said, “I think you can appreciate that we’re not going to touch on domestic issues in Pakistan.”
When asked if the US was prepared if Pakistan’s military intervened in street protests organised by former Prime Minister Imran Khan “with his very large crowd of followers,” Kirby responded no.
“And I’m not going to become involved in Pakistan’s internal domestic politics again,” he declared.
Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary, previously stated that a democratic Pakistan was essential to US interests.
After Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan accused the US of plotting to destabilise his government, relations between Islamabad and Washington reached a new low. He made his claim based on a diplomatic cable in which a State Department official was believed to have warned of negative ramifications for bilateral ties if the no-confidence motion failed.
The claim has been refuted by Washington.
One of the new government’s major foreign policy initiatives would be to mend wounds with the United States.