ISLAMABAD: The meeting between KP Chief Minister Mahmood Khan and US Ambassador Donald Blome last week in Peshawar paved the way for the maiden (video) contact of PTI chief Imran Khan with the US ambassador in Islamabad. It was viewed as a change of heart on the part of PTI and yet another U-Turn on US bashing. The KP chief minister is a close companion of Imran and had a one-on-one meeting with the US ambassador besides holding meetings with their respective aides when the US government bestowed 36 vehicles on the KP government.
Highly-placed sources told The News here on Thursday that such contacts generally weren’t confirmed immediately for the convenience of the parties, but ultimately confirmation was made public.
The reported contact between the two has created a stir in political and diplomatic circles. The much-talked-about meeting has not been confirmed by either side but sources reminded that in the past, such meetings were kept secret and denied. But after sometime they turned up to be true. The sources reminded that Imran consigned his emissary to Washington soon after his ouster from the government to mend fences, but the authorities concerned in the US capital ignored the attempt and didn’t show any interest in it. As a result, Imran enhanced his onslaught against the US.
The sources pointed out that recently, PTI stalwarts impressed Imran Khan to make another effort for rapprochement. The US diplomatic team was open for any such interaction since diplomats are required to do “softening” as part of their obligations. The KP’s chief minister availed the visit of the envoy to Torkham and Peshawar for bringing a “thaw” in the cold ties and succeeded in convincing the ambassador for entertaining a call from Khan.
A credible source has claimed that “US ambassador-Imran Khan secret video call happened on August 4 at around 1:45 pm to 2:15 pm.” Responding to a query of The News on Thursday evening, US Embassy spokesman Nick Hersh, without confirming the talk between the two, maintained that “we do not comment on what transpires during private diplomatic meetings like the one between Ambassador Blome and the KP chief minister.”
Former federal minister and PTI leader Shireen Mazari has tweeted that “there is absolutely no truth in Imran Khan having had any conversation on cell/video with US envoy Blome.” She also disputed the visit of the ambassador to Torkham and KP and raised frivolous objections after four days of the visit.
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