After US President Joe Biden was sworn in on January last year, no contact was established between him and Prime Minister Imran Khan, as is the diplomatic tradition. Pakistani officials made attempts at the diplomatic level to establish this contact, but these efforts remained futile. The US was reportedly conveyed the message that PM Imran Khan was ready to initiate the phone call, but American officials still remained unmoved.
Diplomatic sources say that Pakistan’s unfruitful efforts to convince the Americans for a phone call from President Biden humiliated the country at the international level. The government and establishment were told by the Foreign Office that Pakistan was in touch with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman, intelligence authorities and other US officials, which meant Biden’s reluctance to call Imran Khan did not make much of a difference.
The Foreign Office was of the opinion that the matter of phone call should be dropped, but this view was not taken into consideration and Pakistan’s efforts to establish contact between Biden and Imran Khan continued. Sources at the Foreign Office said that the last attempt it made to get Biden to talk to PM Khan was in March this year. All efforts thereafter made in this regard were the establishment’s initiative.
Last week, a 4-member delegation of the US Congress met with Prime Minister Imran Khan. The FO strongly advised the PM not to mention the phone call issue during the meeting. However, sources say that efforts towards securing a phone call from the US President continue despite the FO’s position against it.