The US State Department has once again spurned Prime Minister Imran Khan’s allegations of toppling his government through a no-trust motion by funding the Opposition, Geo News reported.
On March 27, at a jalsa, the PM accused the US of interfering in Pakistan’s politics and plotting to oust his regime through a no-trust motion in the National Assembly.
As proof, the PM also brandished a ‘threat letter’ at a public gathering, saying that a foreign country has warned of dire consequences if he remains in power.
Following the Opposition’s ruckus on the ‘threat letter’, the PM had called the National Security Committee (NSC) and presented the letter. To this, the NSC expressed concern and a demarche was issued to the US envoy in Pakistan.
Subsequently, based on this ‘threat letter’, the deputy speaker rejected the no-trust motion against the PM and President Arif Alvi dissolved the NA on the PM’s advice. However, this act turned into a deep constitutional crisis as the matter is in the Supreme Court now.
Earlier, the US State Department and White House categorically rejected PM’s allegations and said the US government has nothing to do with it.
Despite the earlier rejection, the US has once again refuted PM Imran Khan’s allegations over the US government involvement.
During a regular press briefing, US State Department spokesperson Ned Price rejected the allegation and said, “The US believes in democratic principle, not only in Pakistan but around the world.”
“There is no truth to the allegation as you heard from me last week, we support the peaceful upholding of constitutional democratic principle,” he added.
Ned Price further maintained that the US never supports one political party as it encourages broader principles.
“We do not support one political party over another, we support the broader principles, the principles of rule, of law, and equal justice under the law,” he said.
Pakistan demarched US ambassador on NSC’s suggestions: Qureshi
Meanwhile, former foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi reacted to the alleged “foreign conspiracy” saying that Islamabad, on the directions of the National Security Committee (NSC), demarched the US ambassador over the “threatening letter”.
Qureshi said that the NSC meeting declared the “foreign interference” inappropriate and directed to issue a demarche to the country. He maintained that Pakistan had also registered its protest in Washington through its ambassador over the “foreign plot”.
“Pakistan is an independent and sovereign country and no country should interfere in our internal affairs,” he added.
The former foreign minister said that the Pakistani nation does not want any kind of external interference in the country.
Qureshi said: “Our decisions should be in accordance with our constitution, law and public aspirations.”
Responding to a question, Qureshi said that Turkey is Pakistan’s time-tested friend and it always supported Islamabad in difficult times.
Criticising the Opposition over their protest against the PTI’s government for “violation of the Constitution”, he asked if the Constitution allows horse-trading.
India wants a pro-New Delhi government in Pakistan, he added. Qureshi said that they had told India that Islamabad wanted friendly ties with India but they will not compromise on Kashmir.
PM Imran Khan discloses name of US official who sent ‘threat letter’
Hours after the National Assembly deputy speaker ‘trashed’ the Opposition’s no-confidence motion on Sunday, Prime Minister Imran Khan disclosed the name of the US diplomat who had allegedly sent the “threat letter” to Pakistan.
During a meeting with ex-lawmakers, PM Imran Khan, who seemed much calmer and more confident after the proceedings of the day, revealed that the threatening message that was received from the US was sent by its Assistant Secretary of State for the South and Central Asian Affairs Donald Lu.
He was quoted as saying that during a meeting between Lu and Pakistan’s Ambassador Asad Majeed, note-takers from both sides were present and minutes of the meeting were released after the meeting ended.
Lu, who is currently visiting India, in an interview with Hindustan Times, was questioned regarding the “threatening message” controversy; however, he denied responding to the allegations of PM Imran Khan, The News reported.
The top US official had said that the US is closely monitoring the situation in Pakistan and “we respect and support Pakistan’s constitutional process and the rule of law.”
Who is Donald Lu?
Lu became Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs on September 15, 2021. Prior to this assignment, Assistant Secretary Lu served as the US Ambassador to the Kyrgyz Republic from 2018 to 2021 and the US Ambassador to the Republic of Albania from 2015-2018.
Before his posting in Albania, Assistant Secretary Lu worked on the Ebola crisis in West Africa as the Deputy Coordinator for Ebola Response in the Department of State.
Lu is a Foreign Service Officer with more than 30 years of US government service. He served as Deputy Chief of Mission (DCM) in India (2010-2013), Chargé d’Affaires (2009-2010) and DCM (2007-2009) in Azerbaijan, and as DCM in Kyrgyzstan (2003-2006).
Earlier in his career he was assigned as Deputy Director in the Office of Central Asian and South Caucasus Affairs, Bureau of European Affairs (2001-2003), Special Assistant to the Ambassador for the Newly Independent States in the Office of the Secretary of State (2000-2001), Political Officer in New Delhi, India (1997-2000), Special Assistant to the Ambassador in New Delhi, India (1996-1997), Consular Officer in Tbilisi, Georgia (1994-1996), and Political Officer in Peshawar, Pakistan (1992-1994).
As a Peace Corps volunteer in Sierra Leone, West Africa from 1988-1990, he helped to restore hand-dug water wells and to teach health education and latrine construction.