There was a strange phone call between President Elect Donald Trump and Pakistani PM Nawaz Sharif last Monday. A transcript of the bizarre exchange was released Wednesday by the Pakistani press office.
Washington Post reports that though Trump's distinct voice could be heard, there were no quotation marks in the passage. Trump called Sharif "a terrific guy" who's "doing amazing work," and said "Pakistanis are one of the most intelligent people." He said he would love to visit such a "fantastic country." He also reported: "I am ready and willing to play any role that you want me to play."
However, Trump's office did not validate the interpretation. In fact, it only said that the parties "had a productive conversation about how the United States and Pakistan will have a strong working relationship in the future."
The call seemed strangely not as formal as it should have been. CNN's David Gergen says that the President normally keeps a press aide and/or national security advisers near him during a call. This is especially important for a President who has "blasted" Pakistan in the past.
It was on Jan 10, 2012, that Trump had tweeted: "Get it straight: Pakistan is not our friend. We've given them billions and billions of dollars, and what did we get? Betrayal and disrespect - and much worse. #TimeToGetTough"
This call was a highly "reckless and bizarre," conversation, said Time, especially when viewed against the "complex, tense relationship" between nuclear powers Pakistan and neighboring India. "The ... President-elect's ill-considered words could have serious regional and global consequences," it notes.
Agreeing, Forbes said the conversation reveals that "he shows no awareness of the issues."
The New Republic said it looked odd that Trump went on "to speak to foreign leaders on a personal line and without preparation," adding, "With one phone call, Donald Trump might have upturned America's relationship with both Pakistan and India."
It added: "With luck, the government of Pakistan won't interpret Trump's comments either literally or seriously, but see it as typical salesman blather."