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

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Islamabad, May 8: The US has emphasised the importance of ensuring the safety and security of all prisoners in Pakistan, including jailed former prime minister Imran Khan.

State Depart­ment Spoke­sperson Matthew Miller in a press briefing on Tuesday, acknowledging a meeting between US Ambassador Donald Blome and leaders of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), including Opposition leader Omar Ayub Khan, said the US envoy discussed with the leader of the Opposition and other senior members of the PTI party a broader range of issues important to the bilateral relationship, including continuing US economic support to Islamabad.

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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 emphasised the importance of upholding basic human rights while maintaining impartiality towards political parties.

Miller also addressed the issue of US Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s reported warning to Pakistan about the safety of the imprisoned former premier and affirmed the United States’ commitment to human rights.

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Miller said Senator Schumer might have coordinated with the State Department while telling the Pakistani ambassador that Khan’s safety was a high priority in Washington but he was unaware of such 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 came just a day after Blome met Omar and other leaders of the PTI following the PTI chief’s toned-down anti-UD rhetoric.

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Earlier, cricketer-turned-politician Khan had been lashing at the US for alleged interference in toppling 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. (PTI)





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