“Exhibit restraint”: United States tells Pakistan
WASHINGTON: The United States urged authorities and political parties in Pakistan to display restraint as a prosperous Pakistan is critical to US interests.
“We are aware of reports about clashes in Lahore near the residence of former Pakistani prime minister Imran Khan, as well as in other locations. “We encourage all to exhibit restraint and wish those injured a quick recovery, ” a State Department spokesperson stated while talking to ARY News correspondent in D.C.
The US spokesperson further said that the United States does not have a position on one political candidate or party versus another. “We support the peaceful upholding of democratic, constitutional, and legal principles”.
Violence erupted in Lahore on Tuesday when about 1,000 Khan supporters clashed with police when they tried to arrest the former premier at his house in the upscale Zaman Park neighborhood. Khan s supporters hurl petrol bombs, rocks and bricks at police. Officers responded by swinging batons, firing tear gas and using water cannons. They failed to arrest Khan.
Imran Khan said in a video message that he was ready to travel to Islamabad on Saturday to appear in court. He posed for cameras with piles of spent tear gas shells he said had been collected from around his home.
“The United States values our long-standing cooperation with Pakistan and has always viewed a prosperous and democratic Pakistan as critical to U.S. interests. That remains unchanged, the spokesperson at the US Department of State remarked.
The spokesperson was also asked about the reports of a US drone strike in Pakistani tribal areas. The spokesperson avoided to confirm or deny but said that “we ve seen reports that Pakistani security forces conducted counterterrorism operations in South Waziristan on March 15. We refer you to the Government of Pakistan for any additional information”.
Reports of a suspected drone strike in Zangara, South Waziristan emerged late on Wednesday night. Official sources confirmed an incident but stopped short of a confirmation.
Accordia to some media reports the locals said that the attack was indeed a drone attack, and the unmanned aircraft could be heard buzzing in the area. The sound is well known to people in the area who lived through over a decade of regular drone strikes in the region. Locals call drones bungunga after their distinctive bung bung sound. People who lived through the years of terror say that the sound would leave them sleepless., a media report claimed.
Meanwhile, Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said in a statement that the security forces carried out an operation in Zinghara area of South Waziristan after getting information about the presence of terrorists. “At least eight terrorists were killed while two children embraced martyrdom when security forces carried out an operation in South Waziristan district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Wednesday, the statement said.