Trump reiterates to mediate Kashmir issue amid praises for Imran and Modi

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WASHINGTON: President of United States Donald Trump on Friday has praised Pakistani and Indian prime ministers Imran Khan and Narendra Modi respectively by calling them as fantastic persons.
Talking to media in Washington, Trump said, “I think they are fantastic people Khan and Modi – I mean. I would imagine they could get along very well, but if they wanted somebody to intervene, to help them and I spoke with Pakistan about that and I spoke frankly in (sic) India about it.”
Meanwhile, he once again offered to mediate Kashmir dispute and said, “It’s really up to Modi (to accept the offer of mediation). If they wanted me to, I would certainly intervene.”
Earlier while holding press conference with PM Imran in Washington, the US president had offered to mediate the decades-long Kashmir dispute between India and Pakistan, a move that would signal a shift in long-standing US policy that the issue must be solved bilaterally.
Trump said the Indian Prime Minister had asked for his mediation during their bilateral meeting in Japan in June on the sideline of the G-20 Summit.
However, Indian government had quickly denied it and said that Kashmir issue was never discussed between Modi and Trump.
Meanwhile, rejecting the mediation offer of the United States on Kashmir issue, Indian Minister of External Affairs Dr Subrahmanyam Jaishankar on Friday clarified that any discussion on the disputed region will only take place bilaterally with Pakistan.
In a post on Twitter Jaishankar said, “Have conveyed to American counterpart Mike Pompeo this morning in clear terms that any discussion on Kashmir, if at all warranted, will only be with Pakistan and only bilaterally.”
Have conveyed to American counterpart @SecPompeo this morning in clear terms that any discussion on Kashmir, if at all warranted, will only be with Pakistan and only bilaterally.
Jaishankar’s statement comes following the reiteration of the offer by the US President Donald Trump during an interview at the White House a day earlier.
Answering a reporter’s question about his previous comments related to mediating on Kashmir issue, Trump said: “If they wanted somebody to intervene or to help them – and I spoke with Pakistan about that, and I spoke, frankly, to India about it. But that’s been going on, that battle, for a long time.”
Referring to his meeting with Prime Minister Imran Khan in Washington last week, the US president said, “Well, that’s up to – it’s really up to Prime Minister Modi. And I met with Prime Minister Khan; I got along great with – I think they’re a fantastic people, Khan and Modi. I mean, I would imagine they can get along very well,” he said. Trump added, “If I can – if they wanted me to, I would certainly intervene.”
Kashmir dispute is the long-standing issue between the neighbouring Pakistan and India since the partition of the subcontinent.
Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has on Friday said New Delhi claims that talks over the Kashmir issue will only be held with Pakistan, but is not even willing to conduct a bilateral meeting.
The foreign minister talked to media and maintained that the United States should use its influence over India to solve this dispute.
“Prime Minister Imran Khan had stated that Pakistan will take two steps forward if India takes one to improve relations, but the issue is rapidly getting worse. India should come towards dialogues to settle the Kashmir conflict, and I am forwarding a letter to the UN Secretary General today over this issue.
“Pakistan had given the message of peace before, and is still making the same offer. We want to live peacefully. On the other hand, India raised questions on US President Donald Trump’s statement regarding the mediation offer on Kashmir dispute.
“Our focus at the moment is on Afghanistan peace process, and the stability of the entire region will be at stake if India creates hindrance in it.” – NNI