US President Donald Trump on Tuesday reiterated his offer to “help” on the Kashmir issue, as he met Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan in Davos, Switzerland on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum.
Interestingly, Trump volunteered the US’s “help” even before Khan spoke — without any prompting or provocation.
Addressing the media with Khan at his side, Trump said, “We are talking about Kashmir and in relation to what is going on with Pakistan and India and if we can help — we certainly will be helping. We’ve been following that and watching it very very closely.”
Khan said it was the US which will be able to help resolve the issue, and said that he had pinned his hopes on the US President.
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) January 21, 2020
This is the fourth time that Trump has made such an offer – each time, India has rejected his proposal.
His latest offer comes in the backdrop of talks between Delhi and Washington about Trump possibly visiting India this year, anytime between February and September.
On July 22, 2019, Trump, with Khan by his side in Washington, said that he would “love to be a mediator” in the Kashmir issue. A month later, Trump stunned New Delhi by claiming that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had asked him to mediate on Kashmir. The US President looked on as Modi made clear that all issues with Pakistan are bilateral, and India doesn’t bother any other country about them.
Then in September, Trump said he had discussed Kashmir with the leaders of India and Pakistan during his meetings with them and had offered to help with “arbitration or mediation” to the two “nuclear-armed neighbours” who have to “work it out”.
“You look at the two gentlemen heading those two countries, two good friends of mine. I said, fellows work it out, just work it out. Those are two nuclear countries, gotta work it out,” he had said.
India has always maintained that Kashmir is a bilateral issue, and no third party has any role in it. Pakistan has been trying to internationalise the Kashmir issue after India withdrew the special status of Jammu and Kashmir on August 5, but New Delhi has asserted the abrogation of Article 370 was its internal matter.
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