US President Donald Trump on Tuesday once again offered to mediate the “explosive” situation in Kashmir, saying it is a “very complicated place”. Speaking a day after phone calls with both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, Mr Trump said he was happy to try and help calm the situation in Kashmir. He said religion was one of the main reasons for uneasy ties between India and Pakistan.
“Kashmir is a very complicated place. You have Hindus and you have the Muslims and I wouldn’t say they get along so great,” Mr Trump told reporters in the White House. “I will do the best I can to mediate,” he said. “…you have two counties that haven’t gotten along well for a long time and frankly, it’s a very explosive situation,” he added.
The US President – who has previously spoken of his willingness to mediate – indicated that he would raise the matter over the weekend with PM Modi. The two leaders are expected in France for a summit of the Group of Seven (G7) industralised nations.
“I think we’re helping the situation. But there’s tremendous problems between those two countries, as you know. And I will do the best I can to mediate or do something,” Mr Trump said. “Great relationship with both of them, but they are not exactly friends at this moment. Complicated situation. A lot has to do with religion. Religion is a complicated subject,” the US President said.
Donald Trump had recently offered to mediate on Kashmir if India and Pakistan agreed. During a joint media appearance with Imran Khan at the White House last month, he also stunned India by saying that PM Modi sought his “mediation” on the Kashmir issue – a claim India denied.
On Monday, Mr Trump spoke on the phone with his “two good friends” – PM Modi and Imran Khan – and urged them to work towards reducing tensions over Kashmir. He also advised Pakistan to “moderate its rhetoric with India” over Kashmir.
Earlier on Monday, PM Modi had a 30-minute telephonic conversation with Mr Trump in which PM Modi “stated that extreme rhetoric and incitement to anti-India violence by certain leaders in the region was not conducive to peace,” the government said.
The phone call between the two leaders was the first since the government announced its decision to end special status for Jammu and Kashmir.
Soon after PM Modi’s call with Mr Trump, Imran Khan dialed the US President. “Trump reaffirmed the need to avoid escalation of the situation, and urged restraint on both sides. The two leaders also agreed to work together to strengthen United States-Pakistan economic and trade cooperation,” a White House readout of his talk with Imran Khan said.
Islamabad on Tuesday said it will approach the International Court of Justice over India’s decision to end special status to Jammu and Kashmir. Reacting to this, Syed Akbaruddin, India’s envoy to the United Nations, said, “Every country is entitled to use every course available to them. We have different approaches too. If they would like to tackle us in different arenas, we will address it in that arena. This is an arena of their choice. They tried once, but they did not succeed,” Mr Akbaruddin told NDTV.
Last week, Pakistan’s attempts to create a stir in the United Nations Security Council over Kashmir fell flat after most of the participating nations agreed that the ending the special status of Jammu and Kashmir and dividing it into two union territories was a bilateral matter between New Delhi and Islamabad.
The meeting of the 15 nations – five permanent members and 10 rotating members – ended without any resolution, which was seen as a massive snub to Pakistan and its all-weather ally China.
(With inputs from PTI and AFP)
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Donald Trump Talks Mediation On Kashmir Again, Says "Lot To Do With Religion" – NDTV News