A day after Shehbaz Sharif took over the reins of Pakistan in the backdrop of allegations by ousted prime minister Imran Khan, a US State Department Spokesperson has said they “do not support one political party over another”.
Responding to a query by CNN-News18 regarding Imran Khan’s allegations of American interference and conspiracy to overthrow him, the spokesperson said: “We respect and support Pakistan’s constitutional process and the rule of law. The United States supports the peaceful upholding of constitutional and democratic principles."
Imran Khan is the first prime minister in Pakistan’s history to have been ousted by a parliamentary process. In the past, Pakistan has seen military coups seizing power from elected civilian governments. However, this time, the Pakistan army seemed to maintain a distance from the political upheaval.
In the last two weeks, Imran Khan made a serious charge against the US, saying there was a conspiracy to oust him. He referred to a “threat letter" and claimed that the Pakistani envoy to the US was told that Imran Khan has to go or there would be implications.
Imran Khan’s allegations mentioned US Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs Donald Lu as the person involved in the conspiracy. Khan’s camp alleged that the conspiracy was to oust him through the no-confidence motion.
However, the US state department spokesperson rejected Khan’s charges outright, saying there was no truth to the allegations.
Shehbaz Sharif, 70, was sworn-in as the 23rd Prime Minister of Pakistan on Monday following Imran Khan’s exit a day earlier. In the days that followed, a campaign against COAS General Bajwa appeared a top trend on Twitter as hundreds and thousands of tweets blamed the Supreme Court chief justice and the army chief for the ouster of Khan at the behest of the US.