ISLAMABAD: Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar on Tuesday assured the United States that the new government intended to rejuvenate bilateral ties.
She was talking to US Charge d’affaires Angela Egler, who had called on her.
This was the first reported face-to-face meeting between the new government and US officials in Islamabad since Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif was elected following Imran Khan’s ouster through a vote of no confidence in the National Assembly.
Mr Khan had blamed the US for conspiring with local collaborators for his ouster. The former prime minister based his allegation on a cable received from Pakistan’s ambassador in Washington in which State Department official Donald Lu had, ahead of the submission of no-confidence motion by the then opposition, said that bilateral ties could suffer if Mr Khan survived the no-trust move.
The National Security Committee, which met on Friday, had rejected Mr Khan’s conspiracy allegations.
Ms Khar told the American diplomat that “Pakistan values its relations with the United States and seeks to further expand bilateral relations based on mutual respect, trust and equality”.
The meeting took place a day after FO Spokesman Asim Iftikhar at a media briefing had called for moving past the cablegate controversy so that ties with the United States, “a key partner”, could be taken forward.
Mr Iftikhar had also noted that “both sides are keen to build on the long-standing relationships between our two countries and to further strengthen and diversify this relationship”.
Published in Dawn, April 27th, 2022