Brad Sherman, a prominent US senator, said that former Pakistani prime minister Imran Khan had reassured him that he was not hostile to the US.
Both Sherman, a Democratic congressman from California, and Zalmay Khalilzad, the lead negotiator of the US-Taliban agreement, have denied supporting the former prime minister Imran Khan’s effort to retake control.
However, Sherman acknowledged that he recently talked with Imran Khan and expressed to him his worries over alleged human rights abuses in Pakistan.
According to Sherman in an interview with VOA Urdu last weekend, Imran Khan assured him during the phone call that “he believes in the rule of law” and wants strong ties with the United States.
In a letter sent to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken last week, Sherman pleaded with him to “use all diplomatic channels to urge Pakistani authorities to investigate the alleged abuses and to hold accountable anyone who may be responsible.”
Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad, who brokered the US-Taliban agreement, disagreed with assertion that he was promoting Imran Khan. Recent tweets from Mr. Khalilzad called for new elections and denounced alleged human rights abuses in Pakistan.
Former president Asif Zardari said that Khalilzad was backing Imran Khan because “someone might have acquired his services”.
Khalilzad addressed Zardari’s accusation on Twitter. “I do not lobby for anyone or any country, and I am not anyone’s agent,” he had added.
Responding to Pakistan's "Mr. 10 Percent": I do not lobby for anyone or any country and am no one's agent. I have shared my sincere concern about Pakistan's triple crisis, which unfortunately is intensifying, and have suggested what should be done. "Mr. Ten Percent" should put…
— Zalmay Khalilzad (@realZalmayMK) April 15, 2023