US Secretary of State congratulates Shehbaz Sharif on becoming PM

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken congratulated Thursday Shehbaz Sharif on becoming the new Prime Minister of Pakistan.

On Sunday, Shehbaz took oath as the 23rd Prime Minister of Pakistan after he was elected by the joint opposition as the premier following the ouster of PTI chairman Imran Khan through the no-confidence motion.

PM Shehbaz had secured 174 votes against PTI’s Shah Mehmood Qureshi, who received no votes as his party boycotted the election and decided to resign from the National Assemblies.

In the wee hours of Thursday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken congratulated Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif and vowed to continue cooperation with the new Pakistan government.

“Pakistan has been an important partner on wide-ranging mutual interests for nearly 75 years and we value our relationship. The United States congratulates newly elected Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and we look forward to continuing our long-standing cooperation with Pakistan’s government,” a statement from the US State Department read.

In his statement, Blinken further said, “The United States views a strong, prosperous, and democratic Pakistan as essential for the interests of both of our countries.”

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and Russia’s President Vladimir Putin had also congratulated Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on becoming the 23rd premier of Pakistan.

Pentagon sees continuation of military-to-military ties with Pakistan

One day prior, the Pentagon said that the United States would continue its “healthy” military-to-military ties with Pakistan despite the change in the government and swearing-in of Shehbaz Sharif as the prime minister.

Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby said the US recognises that it has shared interests with Pakistan with respect to security and stability. “We recognise that Pakistan plays a key role in the region.”

Ruling out any US military role in Pakistan, Kirby said that America recognises that Pakistan and its people are, themselves, victims of terrorist attacks “inside their own country”.

“I don’t foresee any US military role here. And I’m certainly not going to, again, wade into internal domestic politics in Pakistan,” he told a journalist at a press briefing.

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