US defends Donald Lu for first time in response to PTI’s allegations

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Senior US official Elizabeth Horst has publicly defended Assistant Secretary of State Donald Lu, who was accused 15 months ago of sending a cipher to Pakistan that stirred the country’s politics.

Speaking at a meeting yesterday, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Elizabeth Horst named Donald Lu and said that the allegations against him were clearly based on lies.

“We have made this clear publicly and privately,” she said, referring to a number of statements by US officials denying the allegations.

Donald Lu was accused by former prime minister and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan of playing a role in making the no-confidence motion successful. Due to this no-confidence motion, he was dismissed from office in April last year, although the United States has repeatedly denied the allegations made by Imran Khan in the past, but it never named Donald Lu.

These remarks came at a conference on the future of Pak-US relations in Houston. Elizabeth Horst, head of the Pakistan Bureau at the US State Department, added that the US does not support any one political candidate or party.

She said that her address to the conference was an opportunity to dispel misinformation about the US role in Pakistani politics.

“We do not allow propaganda or false and misinformation to come in the way of any bilateral relationship, including a valuable partnership with Pakistan, and we stand ready to work with any government elected by the People of Pakistan,” Horst said.

“The US government supports democratic principles, freedom of expression, and the rule of law around the world alike, we are writing a new chapter in our history and our focus is on people, investment, economy, climate and prosperity.”

Pakistan’s Ambassador to the US Masood Khan also spoke at a ceremony organized by the International Academy of Letters and thanked the United States for supporting the approval of the $3 billion Standby Arrangement (SBA) agreement between the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Pakistan.