US Says It Won't Let 'Propaganda' & 'Lies' To Get In Way Of Relationship With Pakistan

US Says It Won’t Let ‘Propaganda’ & ‘Lies’ To Get In Way Of Relationship With Pakistan

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State Department Spokesperson Ned Price in a statement said that the United States will not let “lies get in the way” of its bilateral ties with Pakistan, a relationship he stressed is valued.

The spokesperson made these remarks during a press briefing on Tuesday while answering a question about former prime minister Imran Khan blaming the US for his ouster from office and running an “anti-America campaign”.

Image: AFP

“Sir, former prime minister Imran Khan is still blaming US efforts from — for his ouster from prime minister office and leading an anti-American campaign. So, do you think that his anti-American campaign [is] creating fractures among the structure of the diplomatic relation between Pakistan and [the] US or — or it doesn’t matter?” a reporter asked Price.

“We are not going to let propaganda, misinformation, and disinformation — lies — get in the way of any bilateral relationship we have, including with the bilateral relationship we have with Pakistan, one we value,” responded Price.

Khan, who was ousted from office last month through a no-confidence vote, alleges it was the American government working with collaborators on the ground behind the move to end his independent foreign policy.

Image: File

Days before his ouster, he held a letter at a rally in Islamabad on March 27, claiming it contained evidence of an “international conspiracy” to topple his government, which he had been mum about when he first mentioned it, only to name the US when the government appeared to be overthrown.

Allegations of a foreign conspiracy

Khan’s allegation that the US spearheaded his exit from power was based on a cable received from Pakistan’s then-ambassador to the US, Asad Majeed Khan, in which he had reported about a meeting with Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Affairs Donald Lu.

Image: Foreign Policy

Majeed had reportedly said Lu had warned that Khan’s continuation in office, who was set to face a vote of no confidence, would have repercussions on bilateral relations between the US and Pakistan. Meanwhile, the Pentagon and the State Department have rejected the accusations, saying there is no veracity to them.

The National Security Committee took up the matter on March 31 and decided to issue a “strong demarche” to a country that it did not name over what was termed “blatant interference in the internal affairs of Pakistan”. The forum, however, cleared the air that no foreign conspiracy had been at play to topple the Imran Khan-led government.

Khan and his party claim in the meantime that a foreign conspiracy was behind the ouster of the PTI government, and he was seen on May 7 claiming that the plot to overthrow his government started because he declined to allow military bases on the territory. He has repeated those claims on various occasions, including at public rallies, following his exit.

It may be recalled that the US had earlier also stated that it had a “strong and abiding” relationship with Pakistan, especially in the security domain, which would continue under the new leadership of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif.

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