New York: Joe Biden has no immediate plans to call Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, who has blamed Washington for the Afghanistan mess and its fallout in Islamabad, according to the US President’s spokesperson Jen Psaki.
Asked by a reporter if Biden would call Khan “soon”, Psaki said on Monday: “I don’t have anything to predict at this point in time.”
While officials at various levels of the US government have spoken to their Pakistani counterparts, Biden has not reached out personally to Khan.
The reporter said that while Biden was “mid-meeting” with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on September 24, Khan at the UN delivered “some scathing criticism of the US’s actions in Afghanistan. And he’s lamented the lack of direct engagement between himself and President Biden”.
“Why hasn’t the President used this aggressive diplomacy to answer that call from the Prime Minister of Pakistan to engage directly?” she asked.
Psaki replied: “The President has not spoken with every foreign leader at this point in time; that is absolutely true. But he, of course, has a team — an expert team deployed to do exactly that.
“I wouldn’t overread into a leader-to-leader call in that particular regard.”
Khan had given a similar reaction when an interviewer had asked him about Biden’s silence.
Asked by a CNN interviewer earlier this month about not having had a personal conversation with Biden, Khan said: “I would imagine he’s very busy, but our relationship with the US is not just dependent on a phone call, it needs to be a multidimensional relationship.”