US congratulates new Pakistani prime minister after Khan’s ouster

Pakistan's opposition leader Shahbaz Sharif speaks during a press conference
Anjum Naveed/Associated Press

The State Department congratulated new Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Wednesday after he was voted as the successor to ousted Prime Minister Imran Khan.

“Pakistan has been an important partner on wide-ranging mutual interests for nearly 75 years and we value our relationship. The United States congratulates newly elected Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and we look forward to continuing our long-standing cooperation with Pakistan’s government,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement.

“The United States views a strong, prosperous, and democratic Pakistan as essential for the interests of both of our countries,” he added.

Sharif received 174 votes on Wednesday to become the new prime minister after Khan received a vote of no confidence from the Parliament of Pakistan on Sunday.

Khan, leader of the Pakistan Justice Party, was known for his anti-American sentiment and previously said his ouster was set up as a “foreign conspiracy” by the United States. 

The U.S. has denied Khan’s accusations and says it has not interfered in Pakistan’s affairs. 

Khan came to power in 2018 and promised an end to corruption. The charge facing Khan was mismanagement in some of the country’s largest regions.

The vote of no confidence was backed by a coalition of Pakistani lawmakers, some of whom defected from Khan, according to CNN.

Tags Antony Blinken Antony Blinken Imran Khan Imran Khan Pakistan prime minister state department

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