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PM Sharif conveys to President Biden Pakistan’s willingness to work with US for global peace & regional prosperity

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NewsDrum Desk
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Islamabad, Mar 31 (PTI) Pakistan attaches high importance to its relations with the US, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Sunday assured President Joe Biden and emphasised that Islamabad wants to work with Washington to achieve the common goal of global peace and prosperity of the region.

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Sharif's message to Biden came after the US President wrote to the new Pakistani Prime Minister, assuring that Washington would continue to stand with Pakistan to tackle “the most pressing global and regional challenges”.

In his first communication with the new administration in Islamabad, the US president noted that the “enduring partnership between our nations remains critical to ensuring the security of our people — and people around the world”.

“Together, we will continue to forge a strong partnership between our nations and a close bond between our people,” Biden's letter to Sharif, released by the US embassy here last week, said.

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Interestingly, Biden did not have a similar communication with former prime minister Imran Khan when the US president assumed office in 2020.

In his response to the US President’s letter, released by the Prime Minister’s Office, Sharif said: “Pakistan is willing to work with the US towards a common goal of global peace and security and development and prosperity of the region.” He said Pakistan attached “key importance” to its relations with the US, adding that the two countries were jointly working together on important initiatives regarding the energy, climate change, agriculture, health and education sectors.

Sharif also said that cooperation in the energy sector and the Green Alliance Framework initiative between the two countries was welcome.

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However, experts quoted by Pakistan's Dawn newspaper noted that Biden’s letter did not congratulate Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif for assuming power or winning the February 8 election marred by allegations of vote rigging.

At a recent Congressional hearing, senior US diplomat Donald Lu had been asked whether Washington recognised the new government in Pakistan.

The question, posed by Representative Tim Burchett, was based on allegations of rigging and reports of irregularities in the recent February 8 elections.

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US lawmakers and the State Department have repeatedly called for a thorough probe into the claims, while Lu suggested that the Election Commission of Pakistan may want to “re-do” some of the contests.

However, in his response at the time, Lu had clarified that the “US does not go around recognising new governments”, rather it just worked with the regime in power at the time.

Last month, a group of US Democratic lawmakers wrote to Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken, urging them to refrain from recognising the new government in Pakistan until allegations of election rigging were thoroughly investigated.

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Jailed former prime minister Imran Khan and his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf party have alleged that massive vote rigging and irregularities have led to the party not being able to form a government in Islamabad. However, the Election Commission of Pakistan has rejected the charges.

A post-poll deal between former prime minister Nawaz Sharif's Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) led by former foreign minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari and some other political parties has allowed them to garner enough support in the National Assembly to form a government.

Islamabad and Washington are trying to reset ties as US Ambassador Donald Blome said on March 15 that Pakistan was considered an “important partner” of America and expressed hope in working with the newly-elected government to continue building stronger bilateral ties. PTI AKJ AKJ

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