USA-Pakistan Diplomacy Jaw Drop

This morning I read a Washington Post article, shared by a friend, entitled “Pakistan’s surprisingly candid readout of Trump’s phone call with prime minister“. The article features a  sort-of transcript of a call this week between President-elect Trump and Pakistan’s Prime Minister.

Based on the readout’s tone and style, I thought it might be a hoax because it’s almost hammy in reproducing Mr. Trump’s speech patterns:

“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 see you soon. As I am talking to you Prime Minister, I feel I am talking to a person I have known for long.”

Still, the New York Times is now reporting that the readout seems to be real.

President Trump said Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif you have a very good reputation. You are a terrific guy.

The NYT article notes that the White House and State Department are concerned about Mr. Trump speaking off the cuff to foreign heads of state, etc.; not so surprising. Then, smack in the middle, the NYT reports the following, and my jaw drops again:

“Husain Haqqani, a former Pakistani ambassador to Washington, said his government’s decision to release a rough transcript of Mr. Trump’s remarks was a breach of protocol that demonstrated how easily Pakistani leaders misread signals from their American counterparts.”

It seems strange, doesn’t it, for a former ambassador to go on record saying his government breached protocol? In fact, it sounds like he’s siding with the US, warning us not to be dumb. I am intrigued. I shall poke around a little more.

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