After US snub over Pakistan protests, Imran Khan lashes out

Written by PTI | Islamabad | Updated: Aug 22 2014, 14:56pm hrs
Opposition leader Imran Khan today criticised the US for its statement against "any extra-constitutional changes" in Pakistan, saying it is adopting a different policy for the country over poll rigging.

"Why the United States is following a different policy for Pakistan when it would never accept election results in their own country if there had been rigging," the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chief said.

Imran Khan, who has hardened his stand by withdrawing from dialogue with the Pakistan government and vowed to continue his protest till the Prime Minister resigns, demanded the US to withdraw the statement.

State Department Deputy Spokesperson Marie Harf had earlier said that the US does not support "any extra-constitutional changes in Pakistan to that democratic system or people attempting to impose them."

"We support the constitutional and electoral process in Pakistan, which elected Nawaz Sharif as the Prime Minister. That was a process they followed, an election they had, and we are focused on working with Pakistan," Harf had said.

The US had yesterday also appealed to all sides in Pakistan to refrain from violence and resolve their differences through peaceful discussions in a way that strengthens democracy in the country.

"We are carefully monitoring the demonstrations in Islamabad. We urge all sides to refrain from violence, exercise restraint, and respect the rule of law," Harf had said.

Meanwhile, in Islamabad, the US embassy said America "is in no way involved in the process or discussions between parties. Any suggestion to the contrary is false and unhelpful to the dialogue between parties."

Thousands of supporters of Khan and Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) chief cleric Tahirul Qadri have intensified their anti-government protests, demanding ouster of Sharif over allegations of corruption and election rigging.