Pakistan Denies US Statement on Pompeo-Imran Khan Conversation

Glen Norman
August 26, 2018

The US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has called on Pakistan to take "decisive action" against all terrorists operating in the country.

When asked again by a reporter if the USA government continues to stand by the readout, she said: "We stand by our readout".

"The secretary had a good call with the new prime minister and we look forward to having a good relationship with them in the future", she added.

Pakistan's Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said on Friday that the US report of a telephone conversation between Prime Minister Imran Khan and US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo, inaccurately reported a mention of "terrorists operating in Pakistan".

A foreign Office spokesperson said there was no mention of the presence of terrorists in Pakistan during conversation between the two. "This should be corrected immediately".

He announced that Pompeo is expected to visit Islamabad on September 5, adding: "We believe the early interaction (between the two sides) will prove beneficial".

Dr. Mohammad Faisal, spokesperson of MOFA maintained: "Pakistan takes exception to the factually incorrect statement issued by US State Department on today's phone call between PM Khan and Secretary Pompeo".

After Pompeo and Khan's call, the state department issued a press release about the conversation held between the dignitaries. "In order to bring relations with the USA to a past level, there is a need to understand the situation and needs in Afghanistan". When asked about India-Pakistan relations, he admitted that dialogue between the two countries was suspended and there was a need to create an "enabling environment" for constructive negotiations.

He also said that PTI government has already abolished censorship from Radio Pakistan and Pakistan Television.

Earlier today, apart from discussing the "phone call" spat, the foreign minister also commented on Pakistan's westside neighbour, Afghanistan, saying peace in Kabul was essential for Islamabad.

Later briefing the media at the Banigala residence of Imran Khan, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said: "Dr Arif Alvi will become the president of Pakistan as the PTI has the support of the required number of voters".

The Pakistani foreign minister said Pakistan's "strained ties" with the us have seen highs and lows and that the new government is determined to work to improve the relationship.

Ties between India and Pakistan nose-dived in recent years with no bilateral talks taking place, following a spate of terror attacks on Indian military bases by Pakistan-based terror groups since January 2016. Moreover, discretionary funds of the Prime Minister, federal ministers and members of the National Assembly have been abolished.

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