close
Tuesday May 28, 2024

It’s a matter for Pakistani courts: US on PTI chief’s sentencing

The spokesperson also said that the US certainly wants to see a free and fair election

By Wajid Ali Syed
January 31, 2024
State Department’s spokesperson Matthew Miller. — AFP/File
State Department’s spokesperson Matthew Miller. — AFP/File

WASHINGTON: “It’s a matter for the Pakistani courts,” reacted the US Department of State spokesperson while refraining to comment in detail on the former prime minister’s sentencing.

During a daily press briefing on Tuesday, spokesperson Matthew Miller consistently maintained that the sentencing of the former prime minister and PTI head was a legal matter ultimately for the Pakistani courts. “We have been following the case, cases I should say -- plural, brought against the former prime minister but do not have any comments on the sentencing,” he said.

“The prosecution of the former prime minister is a legal matter and we would defer to Pakistani courts with respect to legal matters but of course we want to see the democratic process unfolding in a way that allows broad participation for all parties and respects democratic principles,” he added.

Responding to another related question, he said that the US does not take a position about internal Pakistani matters or with respect to candidates for office in Pakistan. “We want to see a free, fair and open democratic process and when it comes to legal matters it’s for Pakistani courts to decide,” he said adding that the US continues to call for the respect of democratic principles, human rights and the rule of law in Pakistan as around the world.

The spokesperson also said that the US certainly wants to see a free and fair election and will be monitoring how that proceeds over the next week to ten days. “There are areas for improvement that we would welcome in Pakistan but there’s not an assessment that we have made in this specific case,” he said.