The Unnecessary Spat & the Usual Embarrassment that Followed

Following up on our story ‘Does Khan & his FM Know How US now Sees Pakistan’, we all now know the United States has shared the transcript of the telephone conversation between Imran Khan and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo with Pakistan’s Foreign Office. The Foreign Office has backed away from accusing the U.S. of lying, which implicitly means that it was Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and the FO Spokesman who lied.   

 So much for the FM Qureshi’s bombast about the U.S. readout being ‘contrary to facts.’ Now he is talking about trying to use the opportunity of talking to Secretary Pompeo to ‘steer US-Pakistan relations towards betterment.’ 

 According to a report in The Nation “the transcript had ‘embarrassed’ the government who had challenged the contents released by the US State Department. The US, however, sent the transcript to Pakistan to ‘satisfy’ Islamabad that the State department’s release was not ‘incorrect’, the sources said. The US has not sent any comment with the transcript, the sources added. Senior officials at the Foreign Ministry told The Nation that Islamabad had decided not to take the issue further and bury it ahead of Pompeo’s September 5 visit.”

Why did we have to get into this unnecessary spat and cause undue embarrassment to ourselves. Do our leaders and their advisers not realize: one, that all such conversations are recorded and even if we don’t release our transcript the other side can do so? Second, we already have a trust deficit with the US, why do we want to increase it further over a non-issue? And finally, why engage in bombast and rhetoric to gain support at home at the expense of relations abroad?

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