US State Department spokesperson Ned Price speaking during a press briefing. — file

US State Department spokesperson Ned Price on Friday responded to Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa’s appeal to expedite the release of IMF funds, saying “we do not comment on private diplomatic talks.”

Earlier, Nikkei Asia reported that General Bajwa has appealed to the United States to help Islamabad secure an early dispersal of $1.2 billion under an International Monetary Fund loan programme as Pakistan “faces the risk of debt default due to dwindling foreign reserves.”

The army chief reached out to US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman by phone earlier in the week, sources from both US and Pakistan revealed to the publication’s correspondent Wajahat S Khan, on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to speak publicly.

The state department spokesperson said that officials of both countries regularly keep discussing various issues.

On a question regarding a meeting between United States’ Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs Donald Lu and PTI Chairman Imran Khan’s close aide, Ned Price said “if there was any such meeting, I just am not in a position to speak to it.”

Reacting to a question about Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s special assistant meeting with the US assistant secretary of state, Ned Price said that he could not confirm that.

“We don’t support one political party over another. We support those broader principles of the rule of law and equal justice under the law,” he concluded.


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