US State Department Deputy Spokesperson Jalina Porter said on Friday that the United States welcomed the statement issued by the Pakistani National Security Committee (NSC) that rejected the claim of a ‘foreign conspiracy’ to topple former premier Imran Khan’s government.
Porter’s remarks came during a press briefing after a journalist asked how she viewed the NSC’s conclusion.
“The newly elected prime minister of Pakistan, Shehbaz Sharif, chaired the meeting of [the] National Security Committee and senior military and civil officers attended that,” the journalist said.
Welcoming the NSC’s statement, Porter maintained that the US had said “all along” that there was “absolutely no truth to those rumours”.
“I would also like to underscore that the United States values our longstanding cooperation with Pakistan and has always viewed a strong, prosperous and democratic Pakistan as critical to US interests,” the senior official further said.
Earlier on Friday, the NSC had concluded that no evidence of a “foreign conspiracy” to topple Imran Khan’s government had been found. However, it endorsed the decisions taken in its previous meeting.
In its last session, chaired by Imran Khan, the high-powered forum on March 31 had denounced as “unacceptable under any circumstances” what it called “blatant interference” in Pakistan’s internal affairs by an unnamed country. It had also decided that Pakistan would issue a strong demarche to the country in question which was followed through.
Friday’s meeting of the NSC – which was chaired by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif – concluded that based on the input of security agencies as well as the former Pakistan ambassador to the US, no evidence of a foreign conspiracy had been found.
A statement issued by the PM Office said the NSC discussed a telegram received from Pakistan Embassy in Washington. The former Pakistan envoy to the US briefed the committee on the context and content of his telegram. The NSC, after examining the content of the communication, reaffirmed the decisions of its previous meeting.
Shortly before his impending ouster from the government, former prime minister Imran Khan waved a secret letter at his public rally in Islamabad on March 27, claiming that there was an international conspiracy to topple his government.
He termed the no-confidence motion against him a “huge foreign conspiracy against Pakistan” and soon after revealed that the US had sent the ‘threatening letter’, despite earlier claims that he could not reveal the interfering country’s name as the results would be detrimental for Pakistan.
Imran had said that the letter stated that Pakistan would face serious consequences if the no-confidence motion failed, adding that the language of the letter was extremely harsh and that the no-trust motion had been mentioned in it several times.