United States enjoyed a ‘healthy military-to-military relationship’ with the Pakistan Army: John Kirby
WASHINGTON ( Web News )
Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby has said that the United States enjoyed a “healthy military-to-military relationship” with the Pakistan Army and hoped that this engagement will also continue in the future.
Responding to a question about the political crisis in Pakistan and the future of the US-Pakistan ties during a press conference at the Pentagon, John Kirby said he would not comment on Pakistan’s internal affairs.
“We recognize that Pakistan plays a key role in the region. We recognize that Pakistan and the Pakistani people are, themselves, victims of terrorist attacks inside their own country,” he said, adding that the US has “shared interests with Pakistan with respect to security and stability in that part of the world”.
“And we do have a healthy military-to-military relationship with Pakistani armed forces. And we have every expectation that that will be able to continue to be the case,” Kirby added.
In response to another question about the “possible involvement” of the Pakistan military due to the political turmoil, he said: “I don’t foresee any U.S. military role here. And I’m certainly not going to, again, wade into internal domestic politics in Pakistan.”
Kirby said the US had shared interests with Pakistan with respect to security and stability in “that part of the world”. “We recognise that Pakistan plays a key role in the region. We recognise that Pakistan and the Pakistani people are, themselves, victims of terrorist attacks inside their own country,” he added.
In response to a question about election of Shehbaz Sharif as the prime minister and allegations of the ousted premier Imran Khan against the US for its role in regime change, Kirby declined to offer a comment. “I think you can understand that we’re not going to comment about domestic politics inside Pakistan,” he responded.
When asked whether the US was prepared in case Pakistan’s military intervenes amid street protests organised by former prime minister Imran Khan “with his very large crowd of supporters”, Kirby said he did not foresee any US military role there. “And I’m certainly not going to, again, wade into internal domestic politics in Pakistan,” he said.
In response to the statements by the US, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif welcomed the US’s “reaffirmation of long-standing ties with Pakistan”. “The new government wishes to constructively and positively engage with the US to promote shared goals of peace, security and development in the region,” the Prime Minister’s Office said in a tweet. “We look forward to deepening this important relationship on the principles of equality, mutual interest and mutual benefit,” the PMO added.