PM stresses importance of further strengthening Pak-US ties

PM stresses importance of further strengthening Pak-US ties

Kerry Wise
August 26, 2018

Dr. Mohammad Faisal, spokesperson of MOFA maintained: "Pakistan takes exception to the factually incorrect statement issued by US State Department on today's phone call between PM Khan and Secretary Pompeo".

The foreign minister said that PM Imran Khan has told him to strengthen the Foreign Office as it was Pakistan "first line of defence".

He announced that Pompeo is expected to visit Islamabad on September 5, adding: "We believe the early interaction (between the two sides) will prove beneficial".

In one of the initial moves after becoming the Prime Minister, Imran Khan said that his government will support any positive steps to improve relations with India. Qureshi said a State Department statement issued after the call was "contrary to the truth".

"There was no mention at all in the conversation about terrorists operating in Pakistan".

The US, meanwhile, has defended its version of the telephone conversation, with State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert saying that "we stand by our readout".

Prime Minister Imran Khan has emphasized the importance of further strengthening bilateral relations between Pakistan and the United States based on mutual trust and mutual benefit.

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The prime minister also made a decision to stop using special plane for foreign visits or domestic travelling and use business class.

State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert stood by the readout on Thursday while speaking to reporters hours after her Pakistani counterpart demanded on Twitter an immediate correction to what he dismissed as "the factually incorrect" USA statement.

According to reports, the newly constituted Imran Khan's cabinet during its second meeting banned the discretionary use of state funds of the Prime Minister, federal ministers, members of the National assembly. "They had a good call", she said at a press briefing.

In 2011, terrorist leader and 9/11 mastermind Osama Bin Laden was killed by USA forces in the country after having found to have been living in a private compound in Abbottabad after years on the run. "I will never want Pakistan to be on the blacklist since it entails negative economic and other consequences", he said.

The US government announced earlier this year that it was suspending all security assistance to Pakistan until Islamabad took "decisive action" against armed groups.

Pompeo is due to visit Pakistan early next month and Qureshi said he looks forward to the early engagement and interaction with his USA counterpart for regional peace and stability, saying he believed they "will prove beneficial".