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Tuesday May 28, 2024

US again rejects allegations levelled by Imran

Donald Lu, has been called to appear as a witness before the House Foreign Affair Committee’s

By Wajid Ali Syed
March 15, 2024
US State Department Spokesperson Matthew Miller speaks during a regular press briefing on March 14, 2024. — US State Department website
US State Department Spokesperson Matthew Miller speaks during a regular press briefing on March 14, 2024. — US State Department website

WASHINGTON: The U.S. Department of State once again on Thursday rejected the repeated allegations leveled by Imran Khan of conspiring to topple his government against a senior American official.

“With respect to the underlying allegations against the Assistant Secretary Lu, they’re false, they have always been false,” the department’s spokesperson said adding, “you have heard me say that more than once, more than twice, more than ten times probably.”

Since Imran Khan waived the so-called ‘cipher’ at a political rally two years ago and then blurted out the American diplomat’s name numerous times accusing him of conspiring to topple the PTI government, the Assistant Secretary of State has received multiple threats, sources familiar to it have told The News.

Asked if the department was concerned about any possible threats to the Assistant Secretary who has been asked to testify at the hearing on Pakistan called by a House subcommittee next week, the State Department spokesperson stated, “of course, we take any threats towards U.S. officials seriously and condemn any effort to threaten safety and security of our diplomats.”

Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs, Donald Lu, has been called to appear as a witness before the House Foreign Affair Committee’s subcommittee on Middle East, Africa and Central Asia on Wednesday. The subcommittee will hold the hearing on the future of democracy and U.S.-Pakistan relations post Pakistan elections.

Responding to a question about the upcoming hearing, the spokesperson clarified that any number of state department officials testify all the time before congress.

“We see it as an important part of our jobs to help congress do its job both from a policy making perspective and from an oversight perspective, so we always look forward both to the informal conversations we have with congress, the formal conversations, and of course the actual testimony that our officials provide.”

To another question, the spokesperson expressed concerns about the notification of the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s efforts to implement the controversial citizenship amendment act.

“We are closely monitoring this act, how this act will be implemented. Respect for religious freedom and equal treatment under the law for all communities are fundamental democratic principles,” the spokesperson said.