US emphasises importance of ex-Pak PM Imran Khan’s safety in jail

NEW DELHI: The United States has stressed the significance of guaranteeing the safety and security of all prisoners in Pakistan, including the imprisoned former Prime Minister Imran Khan.
US state department spokesperson Matthew Miller, during a press briefing on Tuesday, recognised a meeting between US Ambassador Donald Blome and leaders of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), which included Opposition leader Omar Ayub Khan.He mentioned that the US envoy talked with the Opposition leader and other senior members of the PTI party about a wider range of issues crucial to the bilateral relationship, such as the ongoing US economic assistance to Islamabad.
About discussions with PTI on “fabricated’ charges against 71-year-old Khan, Miller reiterated the US stance on political neutrality, Dawn News reported.
“Our position is the same as we have stated previously, which is we take no position on elections in Pakistan,” he said.
Miller highlighted the significance of supporting fundamental human rights while staying neutral towards political parties.
Miller also discussed the concern raised by US Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer regarding the safety of the imprisoned former prime minister in Pakistan and reiterated the United States’ dedication to upholding human rights.
Miller mentioned that Senator Schumer may have worked together with the State Department when informing the Pakistani ambassador about the high priority placed on Khan’s safety in Washington, although he was not aware of that specific conversation.
“But obviously, we want to see the safety and security of every prisoner in Pakistan or anywhere else in the world,” he said.
“It’s something that every person, every detainee, every prisoner is entitled to basic human rights and protection under the law.”
The remarks were made a day after Blome had a meeting with Omar and other leaders of the PTI, subsequent to the PTI chief’s softened anti-UD stance.
Earlier, the cricketer-turned-politician Khan had been criticising the US for alleged interference in overthrowing his government.
Khan, who was removed from the post of prime minister following a no-confidence motion in April 2022, has been languishing in Rawalpindi’s Adiala jail in multiple cases including the cipher case in which the former premier showed a piece of paper — allegedly a copy of a secret diplomatic communication — at a public rally in Islamabad, claiming it as proof of a conspiracy against his government by a foreign power, referring to US diplomat Donald Lu, who has been at the centre of the controversy.
(With inputs from agencies)


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