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State Dept sidesteps question on Imran’s meeting with US officials

Matthew Miller says matter is for embassy in Pakistan to decide
File photo
File photo

A United States official declined to comment on Thursday as to why officials from its embassy in Pakistan have not met Imran Khan in prison.

State Department Spokesperson Matthew Miller was asked during a scheduled press briefing about why US officials had chosen to meet Zahir Jaffer but had not visited Imran Khan who is in the same prison.

Miller declined to answer the question, adding that it was a matter for the US embassy in Pakistan to decide.

“I would defer to the – our embassy in Pakistan for – answer that question,” Miller said.

Miller was also asked by a journalist about a recent statement by Shahid Khaqan Abbasi about Shehbaz Sharif’s current regime being built on a ‘stolen mandate’.

However, Miller said that decisions about government in Pakistan are for the people of Pakistan to make.

“Ultimately, as you’ve heard me say once or twice from this podium, decisions about the Pakistani Government are for the Pakistani people to make,” he added.

US under secretary of State Donald Lu had been recently called to a Congressional hearing to discuss irregularities in the Pakistani general election.

US representative Brad Sherman had called for the US ambassador to meet Imran Khan in prison during the hearing as well.

“There is one thing you need to do. The US ambassador needs to visit Imran Khan in prison and make sure that he lives to tell the tale of how he was wrongfully imprisoned through selective prosecution,” Sherman had said.

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imran khan

US State Department

Matthew Miller