The United States on Friday countered Pakistan’s denial that Prime Minister Imran Khan had discussed the challenge of terrorism with US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo. US State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert told reporters that Washington stood by its statement about the phone conversation between Khan and Pompeo.
“The US government continues to stand by the readout,” Nauert said. “There is no correction to the readout.” The US spokesperson was replying to queries about Pakistan’s demand for a correction on Washington’s statement about the conversation.
The US spokesperson also said the government stood by Pompeo’s statement that Washington opposed an International Monetary Fund bailout to Pakistan.
On Thursday, Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Mohammad Faisal refuted Washington’s claims, reported Dawn. “Pakistan takes exception to the factually incorrect statement issued by US State Dept on today’s phone call btwn [between] PM [Imran] Khan [and] Sec [Secretary Mike] Pompeo,” Faisal said. He clarified that there “was no mention at all in the conversation” about terrorists operating in Pakistan. “This shd [should] be immediately corrected.”
Nauert, on Thursday, had claimed that Pompeo asked Khan to take decisive action against “all terrorists operating” in his country. “Secretary Pompeo expressed his willingness to work with the new government towards a productive bilateral relationship,” Nauert said in a statement.
Pompeo is also likely to visit Islamabad in the first week of September for consultations with Khan, Dawn reported quoting unidentified diplomatic officials. The two leaders are likely to discuss efforts to revive close ties between the two countries and Pakistan’s support for a US-led move towards the Afghan peace process.