Islamabad denies Pompeo, Khan discussed terrorism in Pakistan

Pakistan welcomes FM Zarif's upcoming visit to Islamabad

Pakistan has disputed Washington's account of a phone call between new Prime Minister Imran Khan and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, denying that there was any discussion on militants operating in Pakistan.

Among other issues which were discussed in the second cabinet meet of Imran Khan's government, it ordered an audit of all mega transport projects carried out in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provinces which were sanctioned during the previous government.

Pompeo will visit Pakistan on September 5, Qureshi confirmed on Friday, saying that the "early interaction will prove beneficial". "Secretary Pompeo expressed his willingness to work with the new government towards a productive bilateral relationship", she said in the statement.

"The impression that has been given in their press release, which mentions terrorists operating in Pakistan, is in contrast with reality".

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

The Pakistani media this week reported that Mr Pompeo is likely to visit Islamabad in the first week of September to hold talks with newly-elected prime minister - Imran Khan.

The U.S. State Department readout of the call said Pompeo wished Khan success and also asked Khan to take "decisive action against all terrorists operating in Pakistan". Pakistan is an important partner to the United States.

It is pertinent to note here that the minister had announced a day before that opposition will also have its say in the editorial policy of state television and radio and he will make efforts to bring the Pakistan Television's English wing at par with worldwide media. "We all need to move forward with one heart & mind, that is what we're interested in", said Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan today.

Khan, whose Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) party swept last month's general election, has been a strong critic of the USA military policy in Afghanistan.

"Pakistan takes exception to the factually incorrect statement issued by U.S. State Dept on today's phone call", a spokesman for the foreign ministry said.

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.

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