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Trump hopeful Pakistan, India will end tension

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HANOI: US President Donald Trump on Thursday said “reasonably attractive news” has been received from Pakistan and India and hoped that escalation between the two countries “will be coming to an end”.

Addressing a news conference in Hanoi after a meeting with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un, the US president opened his remarks by discussing the situation with India and Pakistan. “We have reasonably attractive news from Pakistan and India,” he said.

“They have been going at it and we have been involved in trying to have them stop and we have some reasonably decent news hopefully that will be coming to an end. It’s been going on for a long time for decades and decades. There is a lot of dislike unfortunately so we have been in the middle trying to help them both out, see if we can get some organization and some peace.

And I think that is probably going to be happening,” the US president said.
Earlier in a statement issued by the Pentagon, Acting US Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan said that he had spoken with senior US military officials about the situation. “Acting Secretary Shanahan’s focus is on de-escalating tensions and urging both of the nations to avoid further military action,” the statement added.

The White House had earlier condemned the intensifying conflict and urged “both sides to take immediate steps to de-escalate the situation.”

“The potential risks associated with further military action by either side are unacceptably high for both countries, their neighbors and the international community,” a National Security Council official said on condition of anonymity to Reuters.

Tensions between Pakistan and India have heightened after New Delhi without any proof blamed Pakistan for harbouring terrorists behind the Pulwama attack. Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan in response called for dialogue and urged India to provide actionable intelligence.

On Tuesday, Indian military aircraft had violated the LoC as they “intruded” from the Muzaffarabad sector and were forced to return owing to the timely response of the Pakistan Air Force.

Pakistan on Wednesday confirmed it had shot down two Indian aircraft which had crossed over the Line of Control (LoC) and taken one Indian pilot in custody.

Prime Minister Imran Khan in his speech on Wednesday once again invited India for talks, stressing “better sense should prevail.”

Director General Inter Services Public Relations (DG ISPR) Major General Asif Ghafoor also called on the international community to play its role. “Pakistan is sending a message of peace and they [international community] should also come forward and see how the environment between India and Pakistan are a threat to peace and development not only to the two countries but the region and beyond,” DG ISPR said.

Meanwhile, Pakistan has welcomed the statement of US President Donald Trump regarding interference to de-escalate tension between Pakistan and India.

Briefing media men following the cabinet meeting in Islamabad on Thursday, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said Pakistan has decade old relations with the United States and its interference will be helpful in establishment of peace in the region.

He said President Trump has decided to interfere in view of prevailing tense situation in the region.

Foreign Minister said India is jeopardizing the peace of the region for political objectives while Pakistan is trying its utmost for the peace in the region. – NNI

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