- John Kirby says US has 'shared interests with Pakistan with respect to security and stability'
The Pentagon has said that the US has a healthy military-to-military relationship with the Pakistani armed forces and expects this to continue to be the case even as a new government takes over in the South Asian country.
In a press briefing on Tuesday, spokesperson for the US Department of Defense John Kirby said the US had "shared interests with Pakistan with respect to security and stability."
“We do have a healthy military-to-military relationship with the Pakistani armed forces. And we have every expectation that will be able to continue to be the case," he added.
When asked about allegations made by former PM Imran Khan against the US for its role in a "foreign conspiracy" that lead to a regime change in Pakistan, Kirby said: "I think you can understand that we're not going to comment about domestic politics inside Pakistan."
Kirby was also asked whether Washington was prepared in case Pakistan's military intervenes amid street protests organised by Khan.
"I don't foresee any US military role here," he said.
Earlier in the week, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki had said the US values its "long-standing cooperation with Pakistan and have always viewed a prosperous and democratic Pakistan critical to US interests. That remains unchanged regardless of who the leadership is."
However, Psaki refrained from responding to questions on the possibility of a phone call between President Joe Biden and new PM Shehbaz Sharif.
“I don’t have a prediction of a call at this point of time,” she said.
“Obviously, those are assessments made day by day and especially after new leaders are elected.
Of course, we have a long, strong and abiding relationship with Pakistan, an important security relationship and that will continue under new leaders,” Psaki added.