Just because US President-elect has a reputation of saying things without much application of mind, doesn’t mean anyone can attribute any ludicrous comment to him. A day after a purported conversation between Donald Trump and Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, as released by the later’s office went viral, the US President elect’s office has released its version of the read-out.
It is not a regular practice for the US President’s office to release such conversation with leaders of other countries. It was to clear the air about a possible change in Trump’s stand on Pakistan. In 2012, Trump had tweeted: “Get it straight: Pakistan is not our friend.”Also, the conversation released by Nawaz Sharif’s office wouldn’t go down well with India given the history of cross-border terrorism unleashed by the neighbouring country on Indian soil.
This was Ministry of External Affairs Vikas Swarup’s reaction to Pakistan’s version of the Sharif-Trump ‘fantastic’ conversation and Trump’s offer to solve all “outstanding issues”:
“We believe that the most outstanding issue of the outstanding issues is Pakistan’s continued support to cross-border terrorism. To that extent, we will welcome a dialogue between the US and Pakistan to resolve that issue”
Doubts were also raised over Trump’s position on Pakistan by his domestic audience too. In 2012, Trump had tweeted: “Get it straight: Pakistan is not our friend.”
Also, the conversation released by Nawaz Sharif’s office wouldn’t go down well with India given that latter considers it’s neighbour a haven for terrorism.
Thus, a clarification was much needed. To begin with, the phone call between the two leaders did happen. Sharif had made the call to congratulate Donald Trump. Trump’s representative reportedly rejected Nawaz Sharif’s read-out of the conversation as “flowery”. To clear the confusion, they gave a very business-like and bland version of the now famous conversation:
The two leaders “had a productive conversation about how the US and Pakistan will have a strong working relationship in the future” and Trump was “looking forward to a lasting and strong personal relationship with” Sharif.
This is very different from the bromantic account of the conversation given by Pakistan. Pakistan’s version became the butt of jokes on Twitter. Here are the two versions: (Screenshot from CNN.com)