U.S., Pak. disagree on phone call

In a new war of nerves between them, the U.S and Pakistan have contradicted each other on whether terrorism was discussed during a congratulatory phone call to Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Thursday. Pakistan refuted the State Department statement that terrorism was discussed during the call. In response, the State Department reiterated that it stood by the earlier readout, but did not specifically restate that terrorism was discussed. “We stand by our readout,” said State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert during her daily briefing. The Trump administration is walking a tightrope on its ties with Pakistan amid new attempts to open talks with the Taliban in Afghanistan. In the readout on the call that riled Pakistan, Ms. Nauert had said: “Secretary Pompeo expressed his willingness to work with the new government towards a productive bilateral relationship. Secretary Pompeo raised the importance of Pakistan taking decisive action against all terrorists operating in Pakistan and its vital role in promoting the Afghan peace process.” Pakistan Foreign Office spokesperson Mohammad Faisal contradicted the readout, with a Twitter post. “Pakistan takes exception to the factually incorrect statement issued by U.S. State Dept on today’s phone call btwn PM Khan & Sec Pompeo. There was no mention at all in the conversation about terrorists operating in Pakistan. This shd [should] be immediately corrected.” No change Asked whether the State Department would correct its readout in light of Pakistan’s objections, Ms. Nauert said: “We stand by our readout.” “In the readout, the Secretary notes that he spoke with the new Prime Minister and expressed his willingness to work with the new government toward a productive bilateral relationship. They had a good call. That may surprise some of you, but they had a good call,” said Ms. Nauert.

Source : https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-international/us-pak-disagree-on-phone-call/article24775756.ece

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