Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Sunday responded to US President Joe Biden’s letter and said Pakistan was willing to work with the United States on the shared targets of international peace and regional security.

Biden had written to felicitate PM Shehbaz on Friday, assuring that Washington would continue to stand with Pakistan to tackle “the most pressing global and regional challenges”. In his first communication with the new administration, the US president had noted that the “enduring partnership between our nations remains critical to ensuring the security of our people — and people around the world”.

Interestingly, Biden had not had a similar communication with former prime minister Imran Khan when the US president assumed office.

In his response to the US president’s letter today, released by the Prime Minister’s Office, the premier said: “Pakistan is willing to work with the US towards a common goal of global peace and security and development and prosperity of the region.”

He said Pakistan attached “key importance” to its relations with the US, adding that the two countries were jointly working together on important initiatives regarding energy, climate change, agriculture, health and education sectors.

PM Shehbaz said that cooperation in the energy sector and Green Alliance Framework initiative between the two countries was welcome.

Experts had noted that Biden’s letter did not congratulate PM Shehbaz for assuming power or winning the election.

At a recent Congressional hearing, senior US diplomat Donald Lu had been asked whether Washington recognised the new government in Pakistan.

The question, posed by Representative Tim Burchett, was based on allegations of rigging and reports of irregularities in the recent February 8 elections. US lawmakers and the State Department have repeatedly called for a thorough probe into the claims, while Lu suggested that the Election Commission of Pakistan may want to “re-do” some of the contests.

However, in his response at the time, Lu had clarified that the “US does not go around recognising new governments”, rather it just worked with the regime in power at the time.

Last month, a cohort of US Democratic lawmakers had written to Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken, urging them to refrain from recognising the new government in Pakistan until allegations of election rigging were thoroughly investigated.

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