WASHINGTON/ ISLAMABAD - The United States has a “healthy military-to-military relationship” with Pakistani Armed Forces and it expects to continue that relationship, the Pentagon said, days after Shehbaz Sharif took over as Pakistan’s prime minister.

“We recognise that Pakistan plays a key role in the region,” Pentagon Spokesperson John Kirby said Tuesday in response to a question from an Indian journalist about the change of government in Pakistan after a political crisis during which former prime minister Imran Khan blamed the United States for his ouster. Kirby began his response by saying he was not going to comment about domestic politics inside Pakistan.

But he said that the US had shared interests with Pakistan with respect to security and stability in “that part of the world”.

The Pentagon spokesman added, “ We recognise that Pakistan and the Pakistani people are, themselves, victims of terrorist attacks inside their own country. We recognise that we have 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.”

On Monday, soon after Shehbaz Sharif was elected as the prime minister, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said a democratic Pakistan was critical to US interests. “We support the peaceful upholding of constitutional democratic principles, we don’t support one political party over another,” she told a press briefing at the White House.

‘Unwarranted Reference in India-US statement’

Pakistan rejects unwarranted reference in statement issued after US-India Ministerial Dialogue

Pakistan has categorically rejected the unwarranted reference in the statement issued after the US-India Ministerial Dialogue on Monday last.

The Foreign Office said the gratuitous reference in the statement alluding to some non-existent and dismantled entities betrays misplaced counter-terrorism focus of both countries.

It is unfortunate that a bilateral cooperation mechanism is being used to target a third country for political expediency and to mislead public opinion away from the real and emerging terrorism threats. The assertions made against Pakistan in the statement are malicious and lack any credibility.

| Spokesman says US recognises ‘Pakistan and Pakistanis victims of terrorist attacks’

FO rejects unwarranted reference in  India-US statement as malicious

The Foreign Office said Pakistan has remained a major, proactive, reliable and willing partner of the international community in the global fight against terrorism over last two decades. Pakistan’s successes and sacrifices in countering terrorism are unparalleled and widely acknowledged by the international community, including the United States. No country in the region has sacrificed more for peace than Pakistan.

The Foreign Office said India’s insinuations against Pakistan are in fact a desperate attempt to conceal its state-terrorism and brutal atrocities against the subjugated Kashmiris in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir. Responsible members of the international community must condemn India’s use of terrorism as an instrument of state policy and the impunity that continues to be associated with it. It said India’s terrorism network using the soil of other countries and through supporting UN-designated terrorist organizations, is on record. Failing to take cognizance of this serious situation is tantamount to abdication of international responsibility.

The Foreign Office said Pakistan expects and urges partner countries to take an objective view of the issues of peace and security in South Asia and refrain from associating themselves with positions that are one-sided, politically motivated, and divorced from ground realities.

It said our concerns and rejection of the unwarranted reference to Pakistan in the US-India Statement have been conveyed to the US side through diplomatic channels.