United States President Donald Trump on Tuesday reiterated his offer to mediate in the dispute between India and Pakistan over the revocation of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status, the Hindustan Times reported.
The offer came hours ahead of Trump’s bilateral meeting with Modi. The two leaders are scheduled to meet around 12.15 pm [9.45 pm Indian Standard Time]. While Indian officials have refused to divulge details of the agenda of the meeting, reports speculated about an agreement on trade and economic matters between India and the United States.
“I think as far as Pakistan is concerned, India, their talking, I’m certainly willing to help,” Trump said, according to ANI, on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly session in New York City. “I think they would in a certain way like my help. But they have to both want it. They have very different views and I’m concerned about it.”
Trump’s remarks came a day after he met the Pakistani prime minister and said that his mediation offer was still in place if New Delhi and Islamabad agreed to it. The United States president had called himself an “extremely good arbitrator”, and added that “if I can help, I will certainly do that.”
The president has offered to mediate in the Kashmir conflict several times in the past since tensions between India and Pakistan heightened after the former’s decision to revoke the region’s special status. However, New Delhi has turned down Trump’s offer and maintained that it was an internal matter. The US president first inserted himself into the dispute in July by claiming that Modi had asked him to mediate. India had refuted the claims but the Trump administration said the president stood firm on his statement.
India and Pakistan have engaged in a war of words since the August 5 decision on Jammu and Kashmir. Pakistan, which has fought three wars with India for Kashmir since Independence, has not taken the decision well. Islamabad retaliated by suspending bilateral trade and downgrading ties with New Delhi. It has also raised the matter at the United Nations Security Council, and threatened take it to the UN Human Rights Council and the International Court of Justice as well.
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