Imran Khan

‘Incorrect’ US account of Khan-Pompeo talks upsets Pakistan

Press TV – Pakistan has called on the US to immediately correct a newly released statement about a phone conversation between US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and new Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan.

US State Department said in a statement on Thursday that Pompeo has called on Khan to take “decisive action” against “terrorists” during a phone call he made to wish him success after he was sworn into office.

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,” said State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert.

Pakistan’s Foreign Office, however, rejected the statement, saying there was no such mention of “terrorists operating in Pakistan,” during the conversation.

“Pakistan takes exception to the factually incorrect statement issued by US State Department on the phone call between Prime Minister Khan and Secretary Pompeo,” said foreign office spokesman Mohammad Faisal, calling on the states department to “immediately correct” the statement.

Nauert indicated there would be no correction in response to Pakistan’s complaint. “I can only say we stand by our readout,” Nauert told a news conference.

Washington has for years accused Islamabad of allowing militants and terrorist groups to operate relatively freely in Pakistan’s porous border regions to carry out operations in neighboring Afghanistan, an allegation Pakistan denies.

US President Donald Trump said in his first tweet of 2018 that Washington had “foolishly given Pakistan more than $33 billion in aid over the last 15 years.” He threatened to cut off foreign aid to Pakistan, once again accusing Islamabad of harboring violent extremists.

Pakistani officials have frequently said the US government is making Pakistan a scapegoat to cover Washington’s failure in Afghanistan.

Afghanistan has been gripped by insecurity since the United States and its allies invaded the country to topple Taliban as part of Washington’s so-called war on terror in 2001. Many parts of the country remain plagued by militancy despite the presence of foreign troops.