Pakistan hits back at US over ‘factually incorrect’ statement

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ISLAMABAD: A new controversy hit the already fractured Pak-US ties after State Department said it stands by readout of Imran Khan- Mike Pompeo discussion which Pakistan has termed ‘factually incorrect’.

When questioned about the rebuttal Pakistan has issued on the telephonic discussion, State Department’s spokesperson Heather Nauert said: “They had a good call. That may surprise some of you, but they had a good call. Pakistan is an important partner to the United States. We hope to forge a good, productive working relationship with the new civilian government.”

When pressed to issue clarification whether the US going to correct itself or the Pakistani government is wrong, she replied, ‘We stand by our readout.’

The FO in a statement had demanded an ‘immediate correction’ from the US on the ‘factually incorrect’ readout after the phone call between Prime Minister Imran Khan and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

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

According to US, Pompeo pressed new Pak PM to take “decisive action” against “terrorists” operating in Pakistanin their first conversation.

Pompeo wished Khan success in the wake of his being sworn in as prime minister in Islamabad Saturday following victory in July 25´s elections, said Nauert in a staement.

“Secretary Pompeo expressed his willingness to work with the new government towards a productive bilateral relationship,” she added.

He 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.”

Ties with the US cooled in January when President Donald Trump accused Pakistan of “lies” and “duplicity” in the war on terror, suspending military assistance worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

Washington has also suspended the coveted military training progamme for Islamabad which, according to experts, will affect the US more.

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