United States President Donald Trump on Thursday again expressed willingness to help India and Pakistan resolve the decades-old Kashmir dispute “if they wanted”. He reiterated his claim that he had spoken to India about the matter.
Trump was responding to questions about his offer last month to mediate in Kashmir. After a meeting with Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan in Washington on July 22, Trump claimed that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had requested him to mediate in the Kashmir dispute between India and Pakistan. However, India dismissed these claims and rejected his offer, even as Pakistan welcomed it.
When a reporter asked Trump about India’s rejection of his offer, the president asked: “Have they accepted the offer or not?”
The reporter answered in the negative, to which Trump said: “Well, that’s up to – it’s really up to Prime Minister Modi. And I met with Prime Minister Khan; I got along great with – I think they’re a fantastic people, Khan and Modi. I mean, I would imagine they can get along very well.”
“But if they wanted somebody to intervene or to help them – and I spoke with Pakistan about that, and I spoke, frankly, to India about it,” he added. “But that’s been going on, that battle, for a long time.”
When asked how he wanted to resolve the dispute, Trump said: “If I can – if they wanted me to, I would certainly intervene. Yeah.”
On July 22, Trump had 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.” The Indian government immediately rejected Trump’s claim. India’s Opposition parties also criticised the ruling government and sought clarification.
However, in Pakistan, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said the offer was “more than Pakistan expected” and Imran Khan had welcomed the statement. Khan had said the United States “could play a big part” in the resolution of the conflict.