WASHINGTON (AP) — According to White House national security spokesperson John Kirby, the US is observing events in Pakistan “with concern.”

Kirby made his statements after being asked about the situation in Pakistan, where former Prime Minister and PTI chairman Imran Khan was recently imprisoned and militant assaults have increased.

“We’re obviously concerned about any actions, particularly violent actions, that can contribute to instability in Pakistan or, frankly, any other country with whom we share a set of common interests when it comes to counterterrorism, so we’re watching with concern,” he added.

Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif urged the president late Wednesday to dissolve parliament, paving the way for a general election as the country grapples with political and economic difficulties.

Islamist terrorists have been active in recent months, aiming to overthrow the Pakistani government and impose their own brand of harsh Islamic rule on the largely Muslim country of 220 million people. They have increased their attacks since breaking a truce with the government in late 2022.

“Pakistan is a partner, especially in terms of counterterrorism in that part of the world.” “And we have every reason to believe they will remain so,” Kirby added.

The State Department said on Monday that the arrest of the PTI head, a critic of the US, was a domestic matter and that it would not comment on his legal difficulties.

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