Pakistan, on Wednesday, in a press release, said US President-elect Donald Trump, who vowed to ban Muslims from the US, has offered to “play any role” required to address the outstanding problems in the country. The press release claimed Trump has told Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif that he is a “terrific guy”, that Pakistanis are “one of the most intelligent people” from “a fantastic country, fantastic place”.
According to the statement, Trump said these to Sharif over a phone call on Wednesday night, when Sharif called him to congratulate.
The US Time magazine referred to it as the ‘Trumpiest’ conversation thus far.
In his country, Trump faced a tremendous backlash from liberals for promising during his Presidential campaign that he would ban all Muslims from entering the US.
In his Muslim majority country, Sharif is under investigation for funneling money abroad, after his and his family members’ names were mentioned in the Panama Papers.
US-Pakistan ties have been frosty lately, as Washington is unhappy with what it sees as Islamabad’s inaction against homegrown terror like the Haqqani network, Masood Azhar and Hafiz Saeed.
Islamabad has been terribly unhappy over what it sees a growing closeness between the US and India, especially after the two signed a deal in August to use each other’s military bases for repair and resupply. And Trump also has business ties in India, which has stoked concerns in Pakistan that under his presidency the US may accelerate its shift towards New Delhi.
During his campaign, Mr. Trump had referred to Pakistan as the “most dangerous” place in the world that could go “rogue”. “Pakistan has nukes that work, they have a lot of them, and we have to get India involved to check them”, Mr. Trump had said in a radio interview. Comparing Pakistan to North Korea he said that “at least their leaders have some semblance of sanity.”
So, what this love-fest between the two leaders means for Pakistan is unclear at the present time
During the conversation, Mr Sharif invited Mr Trump to visit Pakistan. The statement said, “Mr. 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.”
Late evening on Wednesday, Trump’s transition team issued a statement, which said, “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. President-elect Trump also noted that he is looking forward to a lasting and strong personal relationship with Prime Minister Sharif.”