ISLAMABAD -  Vice President Pakistan People’s Party Senator Sherry Rehman yesterday expressed shock and dismay over the government's bizarre release of a readout of the phone call between President-elect Donald Trump and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

The lawmaker, a former ambassador to the US, said the phone call between the two leaders took place this week to discuss future prospects between the US and Pakistan, adding: “Releasing that unabridged readout without permission represented a total breach of diplomatic norms and has placed Pakistan in a poor light.”

The government’s decision to release the readout in the manner that it did, drew a slew of criticism from former White House officials and the international media, she maintained.

“There is no way that a trained Foreign Service Officer would release this kind of granular detail on his own. This huge faux pas has obviously been initiated by the PM’s office,” said Senator Sherry Rehman.

The US President-elect and the Prime Minister also received heavy backlash over the ignorance and recklessness revealed in the content of the readout. Foreign policy experts fear that it would have strong implications on US policy towards India and Pakistan.

“This has exposed the gaping hole in this government's foreign policy machine and made it look even more enormous. The refusal to appoint a full time Foreign Minister has left a dangerous vacuum on a key ministry where too much is falling between the cracks. This has been one of the PPP's key demands in order to protect Pakistan's interests, but we fail to understand why no one is given this full time responsibility, especially considering the daily challenges Pakistan is facing in this vital ministry,” she said.

Meanwhile, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz yesterday visited Cuban Embassy in Islamabad to convey condolences to the government and people of Cuba on the passing away of their Historical Leader of the Revolution, Commander-in-Chief Dr Fidel Castro Ruz. He was received by Ambassador Gabriel Tiel Capote.

Signing the condolence book, the Adviser noted that Dr Castro was an iconic leader, not only deeply admired and revered by the people of Cuba but also inspired millions across the globe with his passion for less fortunate in the society and strong faith in his people.

The Adviser said Dr Fidel Castro Ruz will be particularly missed in Pakistan for the great humanitarian work and for putting Pakistan-Cuba relationship on strong foundation.

“He was instrumental in dispatching the Henry Reeve Medical Bridge to Pakistan which made outstanding contribution in relief efforts after the massive 2005 earthquake and in training thousands of Pakistani doctors in Cuba. May the departed soul of Dr Castro rest in eternal peace and the people of Cuba bear this great loss with fortitude,” he added.