WASHINGTON: The United States has said Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is constitutionally elected head of the government of Pakistan, with the State Department also stating that Washington does not support any extra-constitutional changes to the democratic system.
“We support the constitutional and electoral process in Pakistan, which produced the Prime Minister of Nawaz Sharif. That was the process they followed, and the election they had, we are focused on working with Pakistan”, State Department Deputy spokesperson Marie Harf said at the daily briefing.
“We do not support any extra-constitutional changes to that democratic system, or people attempting to impose that”, she added.
“Nawaz Sharif was elected and he is the prime minister. There is a government that was elected, and is in place”, Harf noted in reply to a question.
“He is the Prime Minister”, the spokesperson responded, when asked about the PTI’s demand that Prime Minister Sharif step down from the office.
The spokesperson was replying to questions by journalists who wanted to know about the U.S. position on the political situation vis-a -vis ongoing marches on the capital.
While we call on all sides to refrain from violence, we are monitoring the situation. We will continue to work with the Pakistanis.
The spokesperson brushed aside the suggestion of regime change.”I in no way am calling on that”, she responded, when questioned if the U.S. is calling for Prime Minister Sharif to step down.
The spokesperson checked an Indian journalist against portraying the marches situation in dire negative terms, when he suggested that the situation in Pakistan was grave. “We caution you from using terms like grave”.
She also urged a peaceful political dialogue.”I would caution you from assuming, sort of, where this goes from here. We think there’s a path forward here that’s peaceful. We know there’s a lot of space for political dialogue, but it has to remain peaceful.