The Pakistani Press Information Bureau on Wednesday released a transcript of a phone call between the country’s prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, and U.S. President-elect Donald Trump. Particularly striking about the readout is how Trump fawns over the Islamic republic, in stark contrast to his many past public statements slamming the country.
“Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif you have a very good reputation,” Trump reportedly told his counterpart. “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. Your country is amazing with tremendous opportunities.” The fawning continued: “Pakistanis are one of the most intelligent people. 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.” When invited to visit Pakistan, Trump reportedly said he “would love to come to a fantastic country, fantastic place of fantastic people. Please convey to the Pakistani people that they are amazing and all Pakistanis I have known are exceptional people.”
The excessively flattering tone Trump apparently struck in the phone call stands in stark contrast to how he has repeatedly stated that Pakistan is not an ally of the United States. “Get it straight: Pakistan is not our friend,” he wrote in 2012. “We’ve given them billions and billions of dollars, and what did we get? Betrayal and disrespect—and much worse. #TimeToGetTough.” In another tweet, from later that year, he stated: “When will Pakistan apologize to us for providing safe sanctuary to Osama Bin Laden for 6 years?! Some ‘ally.’”