US once again condemns attack on Imran Khan

Price - The News Today - TNT

WASHINGTON: The United States has once again condemned the attempted assassination of PTI Chairman Imran Khan and called upon the political parties to stay away from violence.

“We continue to strongly condemn the shooting of Imran Khan. We offer our condolences to the family of the individual who was killed. We express our hope for a quick and thorough recovery of all who were injured, including Imran Khan,” the State Department’s spokesman Ned Price said, speaking at a weekly press briefing.

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“Violence has no place in politics. We’re concerned about these reports of violence. We call on all parties to refrain from violence, harassment, intimidation, and to respect the rule of law. We are deeply committed to a democratic and peaceful Pakistan, and we stand with the people of Pakistan.”

Commenting on political chaos, the State Department spokesman said that the US is concerned about what has happened in Pakistan in recent days. He called upon all parties to never resort to violence and they should express their disagreements peacefully.

“We’re deeply committed to Pakistan. We stand with the people of Pakistan,” he said.

Responding to a question regarding the freedom of the media in Pakistan, the spokesman said that the US routinely raises its concerns about press freedom with all stakeholders around the world, including Pakistan.

“We’ll continue to have those conversations with the Pakistani authorities. A free press and informed citizenry are key to any nation and its democratic future, he said.

Expressing concerns over the proximity of India to Russia, the State Department spokesman said that the US has had a number of high-level engagements with the Indian authorities recently. “Yesterday Deputy Secretary Sherman met with Indian Foreign Secretary Kwatra and had a wide‑ranging discussion about the US‑India relationship. Secretary Blinken met with Foreign Minister Jaishankar here in this building just a couple of months ago,” he said.

“The messages we heard from Foreign Minister Jaishankar in Russia were not dissimilar in some ways from what we heard from Prime Minister Modi at the UN, when he made it very clear that this is not an era of war,” he said.

“India, again, reaffirmed that it stands against this war, that it wants to see dialogue, it wants to see diplomacy, it wants to see an end to this needless bloodshed that Russia is responsible for inside of Ukraine.”

He called upon Russia to hear the message from countries around the world, especially from countries like India that are neighbours that have economic, diplomatic, social, and political might.

The US understands, he said, that India’s relationship with Russia developed and was cemented over the course of decades, really came to be during the Cold War at a time when the United States was not in a position to be an economic partner, a security partner, a military partner to India.

“We have sought to deepen our partnership with India in every sector, including economic, security and military cooperation,” he said. The US has been intentional about exempting oil and gas – the energy sector – from the sanctions that have been imposed on Russia, he said. India has a high demand for energy, that it continues to seek from Russia and it is not something that runs afoul of the sanctions that have been imposed, he said.

Ned Price asserted that it is not the time for business as usual with Russia, and it’s incumbent on countries to lessen their economic ties with Russia and wean their dependence on Russian energy.

He said that there are a number of countries that have learned the fact that Russia is not a reliable source of energy and supplier of security assistance.

“Russia is far from reliable in any realm. So it is not only in the interest of Ukraine, it is not only in the interest of the region, of the collective interests that India decreases its dependence on Russia over time,” he added.

Read more: CJP Bandial to consider PM Shehbaz’s request for judicial commission on Imran Khan’s attack

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