Not yet even a week old, Pakistan's new government had already had to backtrack regarding the contents of PM Modi's congratulatory message to Imran Khan, and now, it's had to do the same regarding the US' statement.
The US, which had via its Department of State called for Pakistan to do more about the terrorists on its soil, has also brushed aside India's neighbour's ensuing protests regarding the contents and veracity of said statement.
In her most recent press briefing, US Department of State spokesperson Heather Nauert was asked about Pakistan's Foreign Affairs spokesperson's statement that terrorism hadn't been discussed when US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo dialled Pak PM Imran Khan. She said:
"In the readout the Secretary notes that he spoke to the new Prime Minister (Imran Khan) and expressed willingness to work with the new government towards a productive bilateral relationship."
"They had a good call. That may surprise some of you but they had a good call. Pakistan is an important partner to the US. We hope to forge a new productive working relationship with the new civilian government. My understanding is that the call was a good discussion towards working together."
She was then asked repeatedly about whether terrorism was indeed mentioned and even whether an apology would be forthcoming if it wasn't, to all of which her answer was:
"We stand by our readout."
Secretary Pompeo's Call with Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan
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. 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.
To this, Pakistan's Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesperson Mohammad Faisal had written on Twitter:
Interestingly, Heather Nauert's statement had contained one more subtle but clear indictment of Pakistan -- her use of the word 'Civilian' to describe the Pak government, as opposed to the doings of the influential Pakistani Army and deep-rooted ISI, which have been accused of being the real power in the country. Additionally, there's no escaping the fact that it wasn't the US President who called up Imran Khan, but the Secretary of State.
Earlier, Pakistan had also been forced to commit a U-turn over PM Modi's call to Imran Khan and ensuing communication between the two countries, which the new Pakistan Foreign Minister had claimed contained an offer to negotiate.
Addressing media persons, new Pak Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi had said:
"We received a letter from India's Prime Minister yesterday in which he congratulated Imran Khan and when I spoke, they gave a message of negotiations. That is a very positive sign".
However, India's statement about the phone call contained no mention of negotiation. As a result, Pakistan issued a clarification:
"In response to a query regarding the controversy being unnecessarily created by sections of the Indian media, the Spokesperson stressed that the Foreign Minister had not stated that “the Indian Prime Minister had made an offer of a dialogue”, but had said that the Indian Prime Minister in his letter to Prime Minister, Imran Ahmed Khan Niazi, had also mentioned something similar to what the Foreign Minister elucidated earlier i.e. that the way forward was only through constructive engagement. The Foreign Minister was also briefed about the same positivity and constructive environment prevailing during the meeting of the former Minister of Law & Information with the Indian External Affairs Minister during his visit to India on 18 August 2018 to attend the funeral of Mr. Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
Pakistan looks forward to a mutually beneficial, uninterrupted dialogue with India to resolve all issues. Any attempts to instigate controversy and vitiate the environment are counterproductive and against the spirit of responsible journalism."
The statement failed to offer a clarification on the Minister also raising Pakistan's nuclear prowess: