Pentagon says the United States has a healthy military-to-military relationship with the armed forces of Pakistan and has every expectation that it will continue to be the case. These comments come from Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby two days after election of PML-N President Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif as prime minister through a parliament vote. In a press briefing on Tuesday, Kirby said the US had shared interests with Pakistan with respect to security and stability in “that part of the world”. “We recognize that Pakistan plays a key role in the region. We recognize that Pakistan and the Pakistani people are, themselves, victims of terrorist attacks inside their own country,” he added. In response to a question about election of Shehbaz Sharif as the prime minister and allegations of the ousted premier Imran Khan against the US for its role in regime change, Kirby declined to offer a comment. “I think you can understand that we’re not going to comment about domestic politics inside Pakistan,” he responded. Asked whether the US was prepared in case Pakistan’s military intervenes amid street protests organized by former prime minister Imran Khan “with his very large crowd of supporters”, Kirby said he did not foresee any US military role there. “And I’m certainly not going to, again, wade into internal domestic politics in Pakistan,” he said. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki had earlier said that a democratic Pakistan was critical to US interests. “We support the peaceful upholding of constitutional democratic principles; we don’t support one political party over another,” the press secretary had said. Psaki added that the US valued its long-standing cooperation with Pakistan and had always viewed a prosperous and democratic Pakistan as critical to US interests – that remained unchanged regardless of who the leadership was. In response to the White House’s statement after Shehbaz Sharif’s election, the Prime Minister’s Office had said the new government wished to constructively and positively engage with the US to promote shared goals of peace, security, and development in the region. “We welcome US reaffirmation of long-standing ties with Pakistan,” the PM’s Office said in response to comments made by the White House on the assumption of office by PM Shehbaz.