US Ambassador Donald Blome reportedly held a surprise meeting with the detained former Prime Minister and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan in Adiala Jail amidst the latter’s judicial remand in the cipher case. While the US embassy has not officially confirmed the meeting, it occurred during Ambassador Blome’s series of engagements with various political leaders in anticipation of the upcoming general elections in Pakistan.
US Embassy spokesperson Jonathan Lalley confirmed the meetings in a statement, stating, “In the course of his engagements with a broad range of Pakistani political actors, US Ambassador to Pakistan Donald A. Blome met in Multan with representatives of various political parties at a gathering hosted by former Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani, and in Lahore with former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Istehkam-e-Pakistan Party (IPP) founder Jahangir Khan Tareen.” Lalley elaborated that the discussions focused on the importance of free and fair elections, the right of the Pakistani people to choose their leaders, and the US-Pakistan trade and investment relationship, including the development of the US-Pakistan ‘Green Alliance’ framework.
Despite no official confirmation of the Blome-Imran meeting from the US embassy, a journalist raised the question during a routine press briefing by US State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller. Miller, however, refrained from commenting on the matter, stating, “We do not take a position on candidates for political office in Pakistan or any other country.”
In response to the reports, PTI chief Imran Khan’s sister, Aleema Khan, rejected any claims of a meeting between Imran Khan and US officials in jail.