UNITED NATIONS- Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan bluntly warned that war was possible over India’s crackdown in Kashmir, while US President Donald Trump buddied up to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in their second meeting in three days.
Trump urged the sides to resolve their differences even as he gushed over Modi, saying he was as popular as American rock legend Elvis Presley.
The nuclear-armed rivals have been locked in a worsening standoff since August 5, when the Indian government revoked the special status to Jammu and Kashmir.
“For 50 days, the people of Kashmir have been locked down by 900,000 soldiers,” Khan said, describing mass arrests, non-functioning hospitals and “a total news blackout.”
“Eight million people in an open jail is unprecedented in this day and age. … The biggest worry is what happens once the curfew is lifted? he said.
“There’s a potential that two nuclear-armed countries will come face to face at some stage.”
Modi has defended the Kashmir changes as freeing the territory from separatism, and his supporters welcomed the move.
While Khan warned of war, Trump was having a much lighter moment with Modi.
Trump on Tuesday compared Modi to Presley, the late American singer often referred to as the king of rock and roll, after Modi received a rock-star welcome Sunday in Houston. The president had carved out time to join Modi, who was greeted in Texas by 50,000 cheering Indian Americans.
“Those people went crazy,” Trump said as he and Modi met on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly. “That was like Elvis.”
Asked to describe his chemistry with Modi, Trump said it’s “as good as it can get.”
“I have great respect, I have great admiration and I really like him, that’s another thing,” the president told reporters.
He went on to describe Modi as a “great gentleman” and “great leader” and suggested he be called the “father of India.”
Modi also showered Trump with praise, saying he’s “definitely my friend, but he is also a friend of India,” the prime minister said.
On the Kashmir standoff, Trump urged Modi and Khan to find a resolution.
“We all want to see that,” said Trump, who met with Khan on Monday. (AP)