Pakistan rejects US statement on PM-Pompeo phone talk

August 24, 2018

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has rejected contents of a U.S. State Department statement, which says that American Secretary of State Michael Pompeo has called for action against all terrorist groups in Pakistan in his phone talk with Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan.

The U.S. Secretary of State phoned Imran Khan and congratulated him on a successful election campaign and forming the government, the Prime Minister Office said.

The Pakistan Foreign Ministry statement angrily reacted to the State Department statement about the telephonic contact and said the issue of terrorism was not discussed during the talks.

But the State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert insisted that 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 Ministry spokesman Mohammad Faisal disagreed with the U.S. statement and said on twitter late Thursday that Pakistan has taken exception to the “factually incorrect statement” issued by U.S. State Dept on the phone call between Prime Minister Khan and Secretary Pompeo.

“There was no mention at all in the conversation about terrorists operating in Pakistan. This should be immediately corrected,” Faisal said.

However, the U.S. spokesperson said the State Department stands by its statement.

Nauert said Secretary Pompeo expressed his willingness to work with the new Pakistani government towards a productive bilateral relationship.

On its part Pakistan Prime Minister’s office said that Pompeo wished Prime Minister well for implementation of his commitment for the welfare of the people of Pakistan.

“Prime Minister Imran Khan emphasized the importance of strengthening bilateral relations on the basis of mutual trust and mutual benefit,” a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office said.

The Prime Minister underscored the importance of peace and stability in the region.

With reference to Afghanistan both agreed that peace were a priority for their two countries, the statement said.

Pompeo spoke to Khan amid local media reports that the U.S. Secretary of State is likely to visit Pakistan in early next month at a time when relations are under pressure.

Relations have been at the lowest ebb since the New Year Tweet by President Donald Trump in which he had accused Pakistan of “cheating and lie”, the remarks widely condemned in Pakistan, which is still the non-NATO close ally of the U.S. NNI