Trump offers to play ‘any role’ in addressing Pak’s problems
Islamabad/Washington : Donald Trump lavished praise on Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and offered to play “any role” in helping Pakistan address its problems, a Pakistani statement said, even as the US President-elect’s transition team just described their discussion as “productive”.
Sharif called Trump last night to congratulate him as the two leaders discussed various issues.
“I am ready and willing to play any role that you want me to play to address and find solutions to the outstanding problems. It will be an honour and I will personally do it. Feel free to call me any time even before 20th January, that is before I assume my office,” Trump told Sharif, according to a statement issued by the Pakistan Prime Minister’s Office.
Trump also told Prime Minister Sharif that he has a “very good reputation”, the statement said.
“You (Sharif) are a terrific guy. You are doing amazing work which is visible in every way. I am looking forward to see you soon. As I am talking to you Prime Minister, I feel I am talking to a person I have known for long,” Trump was quoted as telling Sharif.
Trump said Pakistan is an “amazing” country with “tremendous opportunities”, the statement said.
“Pakistanis are one of the most intelligent people,” the President-elect said.
Sharif also invited Trump to visit Pakistan. In his reply, Trump said, “he would love to come to a fantastic country, fantastic place of fantastic people.”
“Please convey to the Pakistani people that they are amazing and all Pakistanis I have known are exceptional people,” said Trump.
However, Trump’s lavish praise for Sharif and his offer to play a role in addressing Pakistan’s problems found no mention in the readout of the conversation between the two leaders issued by Trump’s transition team.
“President-elect Trump and the Prime Minister of Pakistan Muhammad Nawaz Sharif spoke today and had a productive conversation about how the United States and Pakistan will have a strong working relationship in the future,” the transition team said.
“President-elect Trump also noted that he is looking forward to a lasting and strong personal relationship with Prime Minister Sharif,” the transition team said.
The presidential transition team did not immediately respond to questions on the Pakistani readout.
After being elected on November 8, Trump has so far spoken with more than 40 foreign leaders.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi was among the first few foreign leaders to have spoken to Trump.
Meanwhile, the American media was abuzz with reports about the readout of the telephonic conversation issued by Sharif in Islamabad after his telephonic call with Trump, in which the President-elect was quoted as lavishly praising Pakistan.
“Lavishing praise on the Pakistanis would be a major turnaround for the President-elect. In 2012, Trump took to his favourite social media platform, Twitter, to denounce Pakistan,” The Washington Post said.
“I very rarely say you need to read a story to believe it, but check this Pakistani government readout of a call with Trump,” tweeted Yochi Dreazen, deputy managing editor and foreign editor of Vox.