United States President Donald Trump on Tuesday reiterated his offer to help resolve the Kashmir matter, ahead of a meeting with Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum at Davos in Switzerland.
Trump had offered a number of times to mediate in the Kashmir dispute since August 5, when the Indian government scrapped the special status of Jammu and Kashmir and split in into two Union Territories. But the offers were turned down by India every time.
“We are talking about Kashmir and with relation to what’s going on with Pakistan and India,” Trump said while addressing the media with Khan ahead of their talks, NDTV reported. “If we can help, we certainly will be helping. We have been watching it and following it very, very closely.”
Trump is expected to visit India in a few weeks, his first trip to the country. When asked if he would also visit Pakistan at that time, Trump was non-committal. “We are visiting right now, so we won’t really have to,” he said. “But I wanted to say hello for both a relationship standpoint... we have had a great relationship”.
Imran Khan said there were many matters, such as Afghanistan, that the two leaders want to talk about and added that they were on the same page. “India, of course, it is a big issue. We always hope that the US will play its part in resolving that because no other country can,” Khan said.
Trump’s mediation offers
The US president first inserted himself into the dispute in July by claiming that Modi had asked him to mediate. India refuted the claims but the Trump administration said the president stood firm on his statement.
On August 20, Trump said the Kashmir crisis “is a big deal”, adding that it was an “explosive situation”. On September 10, he told reporters that the conflict was “a little bit less heated right now than [it] was two weeks ago”.
On September 24, he said his offer to mediate in the Kashmir dispute was still in place if both countries agreed to it. Calling himself an “extremely good arbitrator”, Trump said, “If I can help, I will certainly do that.”
Pakistan, which has fought three wars with India for Kashmir since Independence, did not take India’s decision to revoke Jammu and Kashmir’s special status well, leading to a drastic escalation of tension between the neighbours.