PM Shehbaz, Hina Rabbani Khar’s discussion on ties with US leaked


ISLAMABAD, APR 30: Record of an important discussion between Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and State Minister for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar was leaked wherein the two, along with an assistant, were talking about Pakistan’s ties with the United States.

The record of the discussion on crucial foreign policy, which has been named ‘Discord Leaks’, also reveals the premier’s conversation on the United Nations’ voting on the Ukraine and Russia conflict, according to the Washington Post.

During the discussion, an assistant advised the prime minister that supporting the resolution could jeopardise Pakistan’s trade and energy deals with Russia and would give the impression of a change in Pakistan’s position.

As per the leaked documents, Khar said that Pakistan should avoid appeasing the West and that the country’s desire to maintain a strategic partnership with the US would sacrifice the full benefits of its original strategic partnership with the long-term friendly nation China.

“According to one of the leaked documents, Hina Rabbani Khar, Pakistan’s minister of state for foreign affairs, argued in March that her country can ‘no longer try to maintain a middle ground between China and the United States’,” the Washington Post wrote in its story.

Pakistani officials, according to the US news outlet, have refused to comment on the matter.

The story by Washington Post, in which the record has been leaked, revolved around the declining support for the US on the war between Russia and Ukraine.

“When the UN General Assembly voted Feb. 23, Pakistan was among 32 countries that abstained,” the media outlet’s story mentioned.

The American publication’s story comes at a time when the US has already confirmed that it has no objection to Pakistan’s decision to import oil from Moscow.

“Each country is going to make its own sovereign decisions as it relates to its energy supply,” US State Department spokesperson Vedant Patel said during its weekly briefing.

The statement was issued in response to a question regarding Pakistan’s deal with Russia after it placed its first order for crude oil after which one cargo will dock at the Karachi port in May.

Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin hosted Chinese leader Xi Jinping for two days of closely-watched talks in March this year — a meeting crucial for the region’s altering political and diplomatic atmosphere.