US, UK want rule of law to be followed in Pakistan

Washington: The United States on Tuesday called for respect of democratic principles and the rule of law in Pakistan in the aftermath of the arrest of its former prime minister Imran Khan.

“We are aware of the arrest of former Pakistani prime minister Imran Khan. As we have said before, the United States does not have a position on one political candidate or party versus another,” White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters at her daily news conference.

She was responding to questions on arrest of Imran Khan in Pakistan. Khan was undergoing a biometric process at the Islamabad High Court when the paramilitary Rangers broke open the glass window and arrested him in a graft case.

“We call for the respect of democratic principles and the rule of law around the world. So I would refer you to the Government of Pakistan for any further information on that,” she said.

At a joint news conference with his British counterpart, James Cleverly, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said they want rule of law to be followed in this South Asian country.

“I’ve seen the reports that that you’ve alluded to and we just want to make sure that whatever happens in Pakistan is consistent with the rule of law with the constitution showing,” Blinken told reporters at the joint news conference with his British counterpart Foreign Secretary Cleverly.

The two diplomats were responding to a question on reports of arrests of former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan.

Cleverly said he has not yet had the opportunity to be briefed in detail on the developments on Pakistan.

“The UK has a long standing and close relationship with Pakistan. We are Commonwealth partners. We want to see peaceful democracy in that country. We want to see the rule of law adhered to. I’m uncomfortable to speculate any further without having a detailed briefing on that,” Cleverly said.

Khan’s arrest has sparked massive protests across Pakistan by his supporters who stormed the army headquarters in Rawalpindi and the Corps Commander’s residence in Lahore.