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State Department stands by original readout of phone call between Pompeo and Imran Khan

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Pompeo claims to call on Pakistan’s Khan to act against ‘terrorists’

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo claims to have pressed new Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan in a phone call to take “decisive action” against “terrorists” operating in Pakistan, the State Department said Thursday. Pompeo wished Khan success in the wake of his being sworn in as prime minister in Islamabad Saturday following victory on July 25’s elections, said State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert.

“Secretary Pompeo expressed his willingness to work with the new government towards a productive bilateral relationship,” Nauert said in a statement. 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.”

Secretary 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.” Pompeo is expected to visit Pakistan early next month to meet with the newly-elected Prime Minister Imran Khan

Pakistan’s Foreign Office Spokesman Mohammad Faisal denied in a tweet that the issue of terrorism had been discussed at all.  “Pakistan takes exception to the factually incorrect statement issued by US State Dept on today’s phone call between PM Khan & Sec Pompeo,” he wrote. “There was no mention at all in the conversation about terrorists operating in Pakistan.” But Nauert later stuck by her original statement.

Washington has pressured Pakistan for years to crack down on the branches of the Taliban and the notorious Haqqani network operating in the country, both of which have been designated as terror groups by the United States. 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.

Read more: How Imran Khan can turn challenges into opportunities?

Khan has raised concerns that he will remain tolerant of the groups, willing to hold talks with the militants and have sought support in the election from religious hardliners. Before the election, he repeatedly blamed Pakistan’s participation in the US-led anti-terror campaign for the surge in terrorism on home soil over the last decade.

Pakistan rejects ‘factually incorrect’ US statement on PM Imran-Pompeo phone call

“Pakistan takes exception to the factually incorrect statement issued by US State Dept on today’s phone call between PM Khan & Sec Pompeo. There was no mention at all in the conversation about terrorists operating in Pakistan,” FO Spokesperson Dr. Faisal tweeted.

He also asked the US to “immediately correct” the statement. Earlier today, the US State Department in a released a statement which stated: “Secretary Michael R. Pompeo spoke today with Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan and wished him success. Secretary Pompeo expressed his willingness to work with the new government towards a productive bilateral relationship.

Read more: Imran Khan: Pakistan’s Jack Kennedy

Secretary 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.” Pompeo is expected to visit Pakistan early next month to meet with the newly-elected Prime Minister Imran Khan. However, State Department says it stands by original readout the of the phone calls between Secretary Pompeo and Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan.

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