New Delhi: US President Donald Trump has said that he would discuss the Kashmir issue with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and help ease the Indo-Pak tensions when they meet at the G7 Summit in France this weekend.
Speaking to reporters at the White House on Tuesday while welcoming visiting Romanian President Klaus lohannis, Trump said he was happy to try and help calm the situation in Kashmir amidst fresh Indo-Pak tensions after India revoked the special status of Jammu and Kashmir.
Trump’s comments to a question on the tension between India and Pakistan came a day after he made separate phone calls to Prime Minister Modi and Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan.
President Trump said he was happy to try and help calm the situation in Kashmir amidst fresh Indo-Pak tensions after India revoked the special status of Jammu and Kashmir.
“I’m going to be with Prime Minister Modi. I’ll be with him over the weekend in France,” Trump said, referring to the G7 Summit in Biarritz, France during the weekend.
“Pakistan Prime Minister (Imran) Khan was here just recently. I get along really well with both of them,” he said.
“Kashmir is a very tough situation,” the US President said, noting that India and Pakistan were using howitzers and heavy arms.
“And it’s been going on for a long period of time,” he said.
“There are tremendous problems between those two countries. And I will do the best I can to mediate or do something. Great relationship with both of them, but they are not exactly friends at this moment. Complicated situation,” he said.
But New Delhi has made it clear to the US that Kashmir is a bilateral issue between India and Pakistan and there was no role for a third party.
“Frankly, it’s a very explosive situation. I spoke to Prime Minister Khan yesterday also with Prime Minister Modi. They’re both friends of mine. They’re great people. They’re great people, and they love their country,” Trump said.
Trump said that the subcontinent is having “these talks for hundreds (sic) of years, even under different names,” he said, apparently referring to the breakdown of bilateral talks between India and Pakistan.
Trump also said religion was one of the main reasons for uneasy ties between India and Pakistan. “A lot has to do with religion. Religion is a complicated subject,” he said. “You have the Hindus. And you have the Muslims. I wouldn’t say they get along so great. That’s what you have right now,” he said.
Tensions between India and Pakistan spiked after India abrogated provisions of Article 370 of the Constitution to withdraw Jammu and Kashmir’s special status and bifurcated it into two Union Territories, evoking strong reactions from Pakistan.