United States President Donald Trump on Monday claimed India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked him to mediate in the Kashmir dispute between India and Pakistan.
Addressing the media after a meeting with Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan in the Oval House in Washington, he said: “I was with Prime Minister Modi two weeks ago and we talked about this subject and he actually said ‘Would you like to be a mediator or arbitrator?’ I said: ‘Where?’ He said: ‘Kashmir’. Because this has been going on for many many years. I was surprised how long it has been going on.”
Khan, who was seated next to him, interjected: “Seventy years.”
Trump continued: “I think they would like to see it resolved, I think you would like to see it resolved. If I can help, I would love to be a mediator.”
The US has always maintained that Kashmir is a bilateral matter between India and Pakistan, and has urged both countries to solve it.
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan met Trump at the White House on Monday to renew bilateral ties that have suffered a setback in recent years. The United States president had cancelled military aid to Pakistan in January 2018 and had asked the country to do more to fight terrorism.
Trump also said on Monday that Pakistan was helping the US in the Afghan peace process, PTI reported. The US president said America was working with Pakistan to withdraw from Afghanistan, and does not want to police the region. “I don’t think Pakistan respected the United States in the past,” he said. “But they’re helping us a lot now.”
The Trump administration is likely to reiterate its stand on terrorism during the discussions, and ask Khan to take “decisive and irreversible” action against the terror groups, according to PTI.
A senior official in the Trump administration claimed that Khan and the United States president would discuss several matters, including counterterrorism, defence, energy, and trade, among other things, PTI reported. The aim of the visit is to push for steady cooperation from Pakistan, advance the peace process in Afghanistan and to encourage Islamabad for strong action to curb terrorism.
During his visit, the Pakistan prime minister will also meet International Monetary Fund chief David Lipton and World Bank President David Malpass.
Khan reached United States on Saturday in a commercial Qatar Airways flight instead of a private jet in order to cut down on expenses due to Pakistan’s financial crunch.
No high-ranking official from the Trump administration received Khan at the airport. Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi received Khan, and they both took a ride on the metro. He is staying at the official residence of the Pakistani Ambassador to the United States, Asad Majeed Khan, IANS reported.