WASHINGTON Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday said that he was “surprised” by India’s reaction to US President Donald Trump’s offer of mediation for resolving the Kashmir issue which has held the subcontinent hostage for 70 years.
India has not been engaging with Pakistan since an attack on the Air Force base at Pathankot in January of 2016, maintaining that talks and terror cannot go together.
“Surprised by reaction of India to Pres Trump’s offer of mediation to bring Pak & India to dialogue table for resolving Kashmir conflict which has held subcontinent hostage for 70 yrs,” Khan, who is here on a three-day working visit, tweeted at the end of his maiden trip to the US.
“Generations of Kashmiris have suffered & are suffering daily and need conflict resolution,” he tweeted.
Trump on Monday offered to be the “mediator” between India and Pakistan on the Kashmir issue during his meeting with Khan at the White House.
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.”