‘A total lie’: Donald Lew dismisses Imran Khan’s crypto ‘conspiracy theory’

US Assistant Secretary of State Donald Lew once again refuted former Prime Minister Imran Khan’s accusation that the United States engineered his ouster by supporting a no-confidence motion proposed by the then opposition in April 2022.

“I want to be very clear on this,” the top U.S. diplomat said in testimony before a congressional panel on Wednesday. [that] This conspiracy theory is a lie [and ] This is a complete lie. “

The House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee announced a hearing titled “Pakistan after the Elections: Examining the Future of Democracy in Pakistan and U.S.-Pakistan Relations,” with the Assistant Secretary of State as the key witness.

Asked about the allegations against the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) founder, the US assistant secretary of state said he had reviewed media reports about the leak of a password that Khan claimed contained threats made by Lu during a meeting with the then Pakistani ambassador in 2022 , Asad Majeed in Washington, the PTI-led government is about to step down.

“At no time did it accuse the US government or me personally of taking steps against Imran Khan,” he added.

Additionally, the U.S. diplomat said Asad Majeed, Pakistan’s then-envoy to Washington, also testified to his government that there was no conspiracy.

“We respect the sovereignty of Pakistan and we respect the principle that the people of Pakistan are the only ones who choose their leaders through a democratic process,” he said.

The password controversy first emerged on March 27, 2022, less than a month before Khan was ousted from power in April 2022, when Khan, while addressing a public rally, waved a letter in front of the crowd claiming it was Conspiracy codes from foreign countries. Joined his political rivals in overthrowing the PTI government.

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He did not reveal the contents of the letter or name the country it came from. But days later, he accused the United States of conspiring against him and claimed Donald Lu, the assistant secretary of state for South and Central Asia, was seeking to remove him from office.

The code was sent by Asad Majeed, then Pakistan’s ambassador to the United States.

U.S. calls for investigation into rigging accusations

Referring to the February 8 election, the Assistant Secretary of State called for an investigation into allegations of election fraud and said that the United States is paying close attention to investigations into allegations of fraud.

He also cited “undue restrictions on freedom of expression and freedom of peaceful assembly” in the February 8 poll.

“We condemn electoral violence, restrictions on human and fundamental rights, and restrictions on internet services,” the US diplomat added.

Lu said the United States wants the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to hold those involved in electoral rigging accountable and said they would encourage the Pakistani government and polling institutions to make the electoral process transparent.

He said there were more than 5,000 independent election observers on site to monitor Pakistan’s elections and their “organization concluded that the conduct of the elections was largely competitive and orderly, while noting some irregularities in the completion of the results.” Behavior”.

Calling Pakistan an important partner of the United States, the assistant secretary said Washington is jointly committed to strengthening Pakistan’s democratic institutions, supporting the U.S.-Pakistan Green Alliance framework and cooperating to counter threats from groups such as Al Qaeda and Daesh.

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“Pakistan faces growing debt challenges”

Commenting on the country’s economic situation, the senior diplomat told a congressional committee that Pakistan is facing a growing debt challenge, with nearly 70% of federal government revenue expected to be used to repay the huge debt this year.

“Pakistan needs economic reforms and private sector-led investment to bring economic growth to its people rather than sinking the government deeper into debt,” he added.

“The people of Pakistan deserve a peaceful, democratic and prosperous country [and] We work every day to support this vision. “

When talking about bilateral relations between the two countries, Lu said that the relationship between the United States and Pakistan is at an “inflection point.”

He explained that Afghanistan has been trapped in conflict for 40 years, and Pakistan has also been trapped in this conflict.

“The end of the war in Afghanistan provides us with the opportunity to build a relationship with Pakistan during our tenure,” the assistant secretary said.

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By Ali Raza

I am a dedicated and skilled News Content Writer with a passion for delivering accurate and engaging stories to a diverse audience. With a solid background in journalism and a keen eye for detail, I bring a commitment to excellence and a deep understanding of the evolving media landscape.

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