Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
August 24, 2018
Pakistan has called on Washington to correct what the Foreign Ministry in Islamabad describes as a “factually incorrect” account of an August 23 phone call between Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan and U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo.
A description of the call released by the U.S. State Department said 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.”
But Islamabad later said “no issue relating to terrorists in Pakistan” was raised.
Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry insists that the issue of militants never came up in the phone call.
“Pakistan takes exception to the factually incorrect statement issued by U.S. State Department” on the phone call, a ministry spokesman said on Twitter. “There was no mention at all in the conversation about terrorists operating in Pakistan. This should be immediately corrected.”
State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said the U.S. government stands by its statement.
She described the call as “good” and said Pompeo expressed willingness to work with Khan toward a productive bilateral relationship.
Pompeo is expected to visit Islamabad on September 5.
U.S. officials accuse Pakistan of harboring Taliban and other militants who carry out attacks in neighboring Afghanistan. Pakistan denies the charges.
Khan has been an outspoken critic of U.S. military policy in Afghanistan but said after winning the prime minister’s post that he seeks better relations with Washington after a series of aid cuts and the suspension of U.S. military training in Pakistan.
Based on reporting by Reuters and AP
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