Islamabad, December 2 (Agencies): US president-elect Donald Trump on Wednesday told Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif that he is ready to play any role desired by Pakistan to resolve the country’s outstanding problems.
Trump made the remarks when Sharif telephoned the president-elect and congratulated him on his victory in the US election.
“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,” Trump was quoted as saying in a statement released by the Prime Minister’s Office.
The president-elect did not say what outstanding problems he was referring to.
Trump told Sharif that he has a “very good reputation”, is a “terrific guy” and is doing “amazing work which is visible in every way”. Trump also said he looked forward to meeting Sharif soon.
Pakistan, the real estate mogul said, is “amazing with tremendous opportunities” and “Pakistanis are one of the most intelligent people”.
When Sharif invited him to visit Pakistan, Trump reportedly said he “would love to come to a fantastic country, fantastic place of fantastic people”. Trump asked him to tell the “Pakistani people that they are amazing”.
Trump’s remarks marked a departure from the stand he had taken on Pakistan while on the campaign trail.
In September, he told a US radio show that Pakistan was “probably the most dangerous” country in the world and that only India could “check” Pakistan. Pakistan is “a serious problem” because it has nuclear weapons and “a lot of them”, just like North Korea, he had said. “India is the check to Pakistan,” he said.
“You have to get India involved…They have their own nukes and have a very powerful army. They seem to be the real check…I think we have to deal very closely with India to deal with it (Pakistan).
The following month, while addressing an event organised by the Republican Hindu Coalition, Trump had described India-Pakistan tensions as a “very, very hot tinderbox” and said he would “love to be the mediator or arbitrator” if the two countries wanted him to.
“Well, I would love to see Pakistan and India get along, because that’s a very, very hot tinderbox… That would be a very great thing. I hope they can do it,” he said.
Islamabad would welcome US President-elect Donald Trump if he offers to play the role of mediator between Pakistan and India, the Foreign Office said.
Ready to mediate in dispute with India
Speaking at the weekly press briefing on Thursday, FO spokesman Nafees Zakaria said that on several occasions during his election campaign, Trump had offered to play the role of mediator as tensions escalated between the two countries on account of the situation in Kashmir.
About the telephone call between Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Trump, Zakaria said the premier’s call to the US president-elect was only a courtesy call.