WASHINGTON US President Donald Trump has offered to mediate in Kashmir dispute between India and Pakistan ‘if mediation is required’.
President Trump said this during his meeting with Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan in White House on Monday.
Trump told Imran Khan that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had asked him to mediate in the dispute. The US President further told Pakistan PM Imran Khan he would love to help if Pakistan wants him to.
“If I can help in the Kashmir issue, I will help,” Trump said during the meeting. “If I could mediate in the Kashmir issue, I would love to help,” he said.
“If I can do anything to help, let me know,” he said, to which Imran Khan said that if Trump would, he would “have the prayers of more than a billion people”.
Trump also said that he “would love to go to Pakistan, if invited”. “Both countries can play an important role in the Kashmir dispute”.
Imran Khan accepted Trump’s offer. “Yes, it would be in the benefit of billions of people if you do so to solve the long dispute between the two country,” the Pakistan PM told the US president.
“There are over a billion and quarter people in the subcontinent, they are held hostage to the issue of Kashmir, and I feel that only the most powerful state, headed by President Trump, can bring the two countries together.
In response, Trump revealed that India had also asked him to mediate.
“I was with Prime Minister [Narendra] Modi two weeks ago. We talked about the subject and he actually said, ‘Would you like to be a mediator or arbitrator?’. I said where, he said Kashmir, because it has been going on for many, many years.
“I was surprised to know how long it has been going on. I think they would like to see it resolved, you [Pakistan] would like to see it resolve […] and if I can help, I would love to become a mediator,” said Trump.
“I have heard so much about Kashmir; it’s a beautiful place and now we hear only about bombs and bombs there.”
India’s Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar, however, shortly after the remarks by Trump denied that any such request had been made by Modi.
India in the past has categorically denied any foreign help in the Kashmir dispute with Pakistan. India maintains that Kashmir dispute in an internal issue and will be resolved bilaterally with Pakistan.
To a question asking him about his own unfavourable views about Pakistan in the past, Trump said: “I don’t think Pakistan respected the United States [in the past]. I don’t think Pakistan respected its [the United States’] presidents. I think Pakistan could have done a tremendous amount with respect to Afghanistan: they didn’t do it another blame game because they were dealing with the wrong presidents who knows?
“I think they could have help us a lot in the past, but it doesn’t matter [now]. We have a new leader, he is going be a great leader of Pakistan. We have a sort of new leader here […] but now I think Pakistan could have done a lot [in the past] but it choose not to just because they didn’t respect US leadership,” he said.
“We were paying $1.3 billion as aid for many years but the problem was that Pakistan it was before you [PM Imran] was not doing anything for us. They were really, I think, subversive.
“To be honest, we have a better relationship with Pakistan right now than we did when we were paying that money. But all of that can come back depending on what we work out […] and I think at the end of this, the end of very short time, we can have a very great relationship with Pakistan.