US ‘looks forward’ to working with new Pakistan PM Shahid Khaqan Abbasi

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi reviews the honour guard in Islamabad, Pakistan August 3, 2017. (Reuters Photo, File)  Related News

The US has congratulated Pakistan’s newly-elected Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, saying it “looks forward” to working with him on areas of mutual cooperation. “We want to congratulate Prime Minister Shahid Abbasi on his election by the National Assembly. We will certainly look forward to working with him on areas of mutual cooperation,” State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert told reporters at her biweekly news conference yesterday.

“We have a very strong people-to-people ties with the government of Pakistan. We’ll look forward to working with Pakistan, and we’ll look forward to working with him as well,” she said in response to a question on the election of Pakistan’s new prime minister.

Meanwhile, Nauert said she is not aware of the claims by Former Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif that the then US President had offered him $5 billion during Kargil war. “I’m not aware of any of that money and what you’re referring to from quite a few administrations ago,” she said.

Abbasi is likely to continue as premier for the remaining 10-month tenure of PML-N as the party chief Nawaz Sharif has hinted retaining his younger brother and Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif in the key province.

Sharif, who was disqualified by the Supreme Court in the Panama Papers case on July 28, had nominated Shahbaz to succeed him after winning a by-election on his vacant seat in Lahore. Abbasi, 58, was endorsed by Sharif to hold the post for interim arrangement of 45 days (till mid-September) till Shahbaz makes to Islamabad.

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