Tue, 06 Dec 2022

Islamabad [Pakistan], September 30 (ANI): Refuting conspiracy theories that the United States was involved in facilitating the regime change in Pakistan, US envoy to Pakistan Donald Blome said that there is absolutely no truth in the cypher, an alleged secret diplomatic cable which was at the centre of controversy to topple former Prime Minister Imran Khan's government, media reports said.

Ambassador Blome made these remarks while speaking exclusively to Pakistan's local media outlets The News International and Jang.

Describing the rampant conspiracy theories like that of regime change as unfortunate, Blome rubbished all the allegations. Over Washington's oft-discussed demand for air bases in Pakistan, envoy Blome said, "I can tell you there were no discussions about air bases, one way or another."To a question regarding concerns about Pakistan's nuclear programme, the US ambassador replied, "Regional security is such an important issue right now for Pakistan."Blome further stated, "We have broad concerns about proliferation and we are working very hard and we are much committed to the non-proliferation principles to finding ways to reduce the threats of nuclear weapons around the world.""It continues to be high on the agenda of the US administration. We had a good and open discussion with Pakistani authorities on a range of security issues. We worked with Pakistan on nuclear issues over a variety of international fora. We worked with Pakistan directly in the IAEA. We participate together in global initiatives to combat nuclear terrorism. We worked together on UN efforts to prevent WMD proliferation. We just have to build strong blocks on those issues."Over relief assistance vis-a-vis the devastating floods in a large part of Pakistan, Blome said, "We have given about USD 56.5 million in an initial UN appeal. And, recently, the Secretary of State, has announced an additional USD 10 million particularly focused on food security that would go to seeds and fertilisers for farmers and repair of flood-damaged irrigation infrastructure. The money that we have already disbursed, it has been done through the UN agencies like UNDP, UNICEF and WFP. We are also working through a number of International NGOs".

Pakistan's economy is also witnessing a skewed outlook with a slump in Foreign reserves and rapid currency depreciation. Earlier, Pakistan Finance Minister Miftah Ismail had said that his country is seeking debt relief from bilateral Paris Club creditors in view of the devastating floods in the country which have claimed more the 1,500 lives.

Responding to a question about this debt, the ambassador said, "We are certainly sympathetic to the need for Pakistan to find ways to deal with its deferred debts. Pakistan doesn't have an enormous amount of debt with the United States in particular. So, the Paris Club debt is a relatively small amount. It is how the US would be working with Pakistan to defer payments. Our portion of the debt is small. Certainly, we want to help Pakistan to navigate this very difficult period".

Regarding terrorists' attacks in Pakistan from Afghan soil, Donald Blome said: "Obviously, we have enormous concerns about the threat of terrorism emanating out of Afghanistan. Pakistan is, of course, on the frontline, and has its own significant concerns." (ANI)

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