ISLAMABAD: Apparently, the transcript of the phone call between PM Nawaz Sharif and American President-elect Donald J. Trump has confused and baffled foreign media, who couldn't come to terms with Trump's praise of Pakistani people and their premier.
On Wednesday, the Prime Minister’s Office, Nawaz Sharif telephoned US President-elect Donald Trump and felicitated him on his recent electoral victory over Hillary Clinton. The following is the transcription which was released by the Pakistani government, of the phone call which took place between Donald Trump and Nawaz Sharif.
"Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif called President-elect USA Donald Trump and felicitated him on his victory. President Trump said Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif you have a very good reputation. You are a terrific guy. You are doing amazing work which is visible in every way. I am looking forward to seeing you soon. As I am talking to you Prime Minister, I feel I am talking to a person I have known for long. Your country is amazing with tremendous opportunities. Pakistanis are one of the most intelligent people. 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 honor and I will personally do it. Feel free to call me any time even before 20th January that is before I assume my office," said the readout.
Needless to say, international newspapers and their websites were shocked to see Trump's warm regard towards Pakistan, Muslim country for which he has uttered stern statements before. Here's what a couple of newspapers had to say about the conversation between the two world leaders:-
The Washington Post
Lavishing praise on the Pakistanis would be a major turnaround for the president-elect. In 2012, Trump took to his favorite social media platform, Twitter, to denounce Pakistan. Sharif, the Pakistani prime minister, is markedly less loved in his country than Trump's praise would make it seem. He is dogged by allegations of corruption, and the release of the Panama Papers last summer appeared to confirm many Pakistanis' suspicions.
It’s hard to imagine some Pakistani bureaucrat making up Trumpy lines like “Pakistanis are one of the most intelligent people” — which, come to think of it, begs the question of who the least intelligent people are. Also, it’s worth noting that these “most intelligent people” would be blocked from entering the United States under Trump’s “Muslim ban.”
Donald Trump has never met Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. But he knows he has a “very good reputation”, and understands he is a “terrific guy”. In fact, Mr Trump feels such a connection with the Pakistani leader, whom he hopes to visit soon, that he feels like he is “talking to a person I have known for a long time”.
The penchant for hyperbole that Trump often exhibited in off-the-cuff campaign speeches came through in the phone call, during which Sharif congratulated him on his election victory and invited him to visit Pakistan.
New York Times
According to the newspaper, president-elect's transition team acknowledged the phone call without confirming its content. "The Pakistani government released its own account of the telephone conversation between Mr. Trump and Mr. Sharif that sounded, well, Trumpian," it said.
An expert on CNN said: "It was entirely inappropriate for the Pakistani government to release what a US president or president-elect says in the course of a phone call". "We would never release what a foreign leader said to George W Bush, we would talk about what George W Bush said," said he, calling the release of transcript "entire breach of diplomatic protocol and tradition".