Former US envoy Zalmay Khalilzad has expressed shock over Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah’s recent “threatening remarks” against PTI chief Imran Khan, terming the statement an incitement to violence.
Taking to Twitter on Tuesday, the former US diplomat said Pakistani interior minister’s statement that “either Imran Khan exists or we do is shocking and should be rejected by all god fearing and law abiding Pakistanis”.
In a recent interview, Sanaullah had said that country’s political situation has reached the point where the ruling Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) can go to any extent to protect its existence from PTI chief Imran Khan.
“The country’s politics has been brought to the level where the existence of only one of the two [PTI and PML-N] is possible,” the interior minister said in an interview aired on Saturday.
Terming his remarks an incitement to violence against the country’s major political leader, Khalilzad urged Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif to publicly disassociate himself from his minister’s comments.
“This mindset is a big reason for Pakistan’s dysfunctionality. If that does not change, the country will continue to be mired in crisis,” he added.
The former US envoy appeared unfazed by Pakistan’s Foreign Office repeated warnings against meddling in the country’s internal affairs and continued to issuing statements mainly in favour of the PTI chief.
Earlier today, Principal Deputy Spokesperson for the United States Department of State Vedant Patel stated that the former US diplomat, Khalilzad was a private citizen whose opinions did not represent Washington’s foreign policy.
During a press briefing, a Pakistani journalist asked Patel to clarify Khalilzad’s statements after the ex-ambassador was observed “advising the Pakistani government” and the Supreme Court regarding the political situation in the country.
The reporter stated that there was a general sentiment in Pakistan that Khalilzad’s statements expressed the US government’s sentiments.
The spokesperson quickly clarified that “any social media activity or comments or tweets” by the former diplomat were done in “his private capacity” as he did not speak for the administration.