Trump's team slams Pak for 'overplaying' phone talk with PM Sharif; calls it breach of protocol
Trump's transition team described the decision to release the conversation to the media as “entirely inappropriate” and “breach of diplomatic protocol”.
New York: Islamabad has overplayed Donald Trump's telephonic conversation with Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, the President-elect's transition team said in a statement on Friday, describing the decision to release it to the media as “entirely inappropriate”.
It also said the Pakistanis exaggerated Trump's offer to play "a role" in resolving Pakistan's disputes with India.
Clarifying the confusion, Trump's team on Friday stressed that the leaders had a 'productive conversation'. But the Pakistani readout of the talk had "committed the president-elect to more than what he meant".
Slamming Islamabad's decision to release the phone conversation to the media, former White House press secretary and member of Trump's transition team Ari Fleischer said, "It's entirely inappropriate for the Pakistani government to release what an American president-elect says in the course of a phone call.”
Fleischer, a former George Bush aide, noted that no government releases such readouts.
"We would never release what a foreign leader said to (ex-president) George W. Bush. We would talk about what George W. Bush said. But to release what somebody else says, I am not the spokesperson for Pakistan or any other nation," citing foreign media ANI quoted him as saying.
"So, for them to do it is an entire breach of diplomatic protocol and tradition. And if they had done that to me, I would be on the phone right now with their press secretary, chewing him out.
“The ambassador would be on the phone with their ambassador, chewing the ambassador out. And up and down the chain," Fleischer added.
The US media has also criticised the Pakistani decision to release the readout.
CNN said, "Readouts of phone calls between world leaders are usually written safely in order to protect leaders from incidental backlash - like the one the Trump team put out."
The Washington Post termed it "a surprisingly candid read", noting that it "focuses almost entirely on Trump's contribution to the conversation, and reproduces them in a voice that is unmistakably his (Trump's)".
The New York Times called it "a bizarre conversation".