US ‘vigorously’ supports Pakistan’s flourishing democracy: Ambassador Hale

MAMOSA Report; Jul 28, 2016 — The United States supports Pakistan’s flourishing democracy and believes it on solid basis for the stability and prosperity of the country, US Ambassador to Pakistan David Hale said in an interview with a private TV channel Geo News’ “Capital Talk” on Thursday.

“United States vigorously supports Pakistan’s flourishing democracy,” the ambassador said according to Dawn.

He said, “I cannot speak about the past but now we do believe in Pakistan’s democracy.” Replying to a question whether US fully supported democracy in Pakistan he said, “Yes we do.” To another question as if the US could support those who wanted to derail democracy in Pakistan, the ambassador categorically stated, “No. Not at all.”

He said, “I am impressed how lively the politics are here in this country. We saw a peaceful transition from one elected government to another (in Pakistan).” He said that also he expects the next elections in Pakistan to be held in 2018.

To a question about the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), he said that the US welcomed the project and was supportive of any effort that brought about economic growth and development in Pakistan. About his view on Pak-Iran gas pipeline project after the lifting of international sanctions against Iran, he said, “We do not oppose the pipeline project in anyway.”

Before coming to Pakistan, Hale served in Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Lebanon and some Middle Eastern states, and can speak Arabic well.

Related article: As US adds forces in Afghanistan to fight Islamic State, Afghan, Pak vow joint effort

Talking about the statement of US Senator John McCain in his article about strain in Pak-US relations, the ambassador said that he respected the senator’s views as he was the longest serving senator and knew Pakistan well. He added that the Pak-US relationship was enduring, strong, broad and multi-dimensional.

To a question about McCain’s view on the extension in the tenure of Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif, he said that he was out of the country during the Senator’s visit and that he (ambassador) could not speak on such issues.

Hale said these kinds of questions are for Pakistan to answer and these are not the issues on which US will ever take a position.

(Based on reporting in Dawn and Daily Times.)

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