US asks 'all sides' to refrain from violence to end Pak crisis

The United States on Monday called on all stakeholders in Pakistan to hold peaceful talks to end the current impasse and said violence is not an acceptable means to resolve political differences.

Washington: The United States on Monday called on all stakeholders in Pakistan to hold peaceful talks to end the current impasse and said violence is not an acceptable means to resolve political differences.

Asserting that the US is not involved in the process or discussions between parties, an Obama Administration official said it has been "carefully monitoring" the demonstrations in Islamabad.

"We continue to urge all sides to refrain from violence, exercise restraint, and respect the rule of law.

"Peaceful protest and freedom of expression are important aspects of democracy," State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki told.

However, as the US Embassy in Pakistan has said, the US is in no way involved in the process or discussions between parties, she noted.

"Violence and destruction of private property and government buildings are not acceptable means of resolving political differences, however, and we strongly oppose any efforts to impose extra-constitutional change to the political system," the State Department spokesperson said.

"The United States firmly believes all parties should work together to resolve differences through peaceful dialogue in ways that strengthen Pakistan?s democratic institutions and rule of law," Psaki said in response to a question.

Cricketer-turned politician Imran Khan and fiery cleric Tahirul Qadri and their supporters have been holding protests in Islamabad for the last two weeks against the government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif alleging rigging in the last general elections, which brought Sharif into power for a third time.