‘No mention about terrorists in Pompeo-Imran phone call’, Pakistan rejects US state dept’s statement

  • In a conversation with new PM, the US Secretary of State expressed his willingness to work with the new government towards a productive bilateral relationship

ISLAMABAD – Taking a stand against American propaganda against Pakistan, the Foreign Office on Thursday clarified that there was no mention of the ‘terrorists operating in the country’ between a telephonic conversation between the United States’ secretary of state and Prime Minister Imran Khan.

“Pakistan takes exception to the factually incorrect statement issued by US State Dept on today’s phone call btwn PM Khan & Sec Pompeo,” FO spokesman Dr Mohammad Faisal wrote on Twitter.

“There was no mention at all in the conversation about terrorists operating in Pakistan. This shd be immediately corrected,” he added.

Earlier today, the US State Department stated that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo pressed PM Imran Khan in a phone call to take “decisive action” against “terrorists” operating in Pakistan.

According to State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert, Pompeo also “raised the importance of Pakistan taking decisive action against all terrorists operating in Pakistan and its vital role in promoting the Afghan peace process.”

“Secretary Pompeo expressed his willingness to work with the new government towards a productive bilateral relationship,” Nauert said in a statement, adding that Pompeo wished Khan success in the wake of his being sworn in as prime minister in Islamabad Saturday after a victory in national elections on July 25.

US Secretary of State congratulates Imran Khan on assuming PM Office

During the conversation, Khan emphasised the importance of strengthening bilateral relations between the US and Pakistan on the basis of mutual trust and mutual benefit, and underscored the importance of peace and stability in the region especially in Afghanistan.

The relations between Pakistan and the US nose-dived after President Donald Trump in new year tweet accused Islamabad of giving nothing to Washington but “lies and deceit” and providing “safe haven” to terrorists.

The US Congress also passed a bill to slash Pakistan’s defence aid to USD 150 million, significantly below the historic level of more than USD one billion per year.

In his victory speech last month after winning the July 25 polls, the prime minister said he wants a balanced relation between Pakistan and America which should be mutually beneficial, not one sided.

Before the election he repeatedly blamed Pakistan’s participation in the US-led anti-terror campaign for the surge in terrorism on home soil over the last decade.

Reports say Pompeo is likely to visit Pakistan in September and hold talks with the newly elected prime minister.

Pompeo, who is expected in Islamabad on September 5, would be the first foreign dignitary to meet Imran Khan.