Pakistan Foreign Office puts forward a demand before US State department

Pakistan Foreign Office puts forward a demand before US State department

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Foreign Office on Thursday has given a strong response over the telephone talk between Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and PM Imran Khan.

Pakistan has rejected the statement released by the US State Department regarding a phone call discussion between Prime Minister Imran Khan and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and said that it is “factually incorrect”.

FO Spokesperson Dr Mohammad Faisal took to Twitter and said, “Pakistan takes exception to the factually incorrect statement issued by US State Dept regarding the phone call between PM Khan & Sec Pompeo. There was no mention at all in the conversation about terrorists operating in Pakistan.”

Furthermore, the FO spokesperson asked the US to “immediately correct” the statement.

On the other hand, it was reported that the US State Department stands by its statement regarding the phone call between PM Imran and Mike Pompeo.

Earlier on Thursday, the US State Department released a statement that said, “Secretary Michael R. Pompeo spoke with Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan and wished him success.”

The statement further said that “Secretary Pompeo expressed his willingness to work with the new government towards a productive bilateral relationship,” adding that “the US Secretary raised the importance of Pakistan taking decisive action against all terrorists operating in Pakistan and its vital role in promoting the Afghan peace process”.

Having said that, Pompeo is expected to visit Pakistan in September along with Alice Wells to meet PM Imran.

It was reported that during his meeting with the Pakistani officials, Secretary Pompeo may “focus on two major issues: efforts to revive once close ties between the two states and Pakistan’s support for a US-led move to jump-starting the Afghan peace process.”

It was further reported that Alice Wells, who heads the Bureau for South Asian Affairs at the State Department, may also accompany Pompeo.

Earlier, US officials had urged Pakistan to help end the Afghan war, adding that recent terrorist attacks in Afghanistan have not discouraged them from negotiating peace with some Taliban factions.

“What we’re seeing here is, there are some factions, some elements of the Taliban that clearly are not on board with peace. Others do want to have peace negotiations and peace discussions,” said State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert while commenting on this week’s terrorist attacks in Kabul that killed almost 50 people.

On Tuesday, a senior US official had reminded Pakistan that now was the time to peacefully end the 17-year-old war in Afghanistan and encouraged Islamabad to play a leading role in this process.

Apparently, Washington believes that Pakistan still has enough “influence over the Afghan Taliban to persuade them to join the peace process, and wants Islamabad to help establish a political setup in Kabul that would allow a peaceful withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan”.

In recent statements, US officials have also expressed the desire to restore their once-close ties with Pakistan.

On Saturday, the US State Department had said that it recognises and welcomes the new Pakistani prime minister, dispelling the impression that Washington was not happy with Imran Khan’s election.