US President Trump reiterates “help” offer on Kashmir

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US President Donald Trump for the fourth time has offer “help” to Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Kashmir issue on Tuesday. Despite a series of refusals from New Delhi, this was his fourth such offer since 5 August, when the government scrapped the special status to Jammu and Kashmir.

Addressing the media with Imran Khan ahead of their talks on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum at Davos, Switzerland, President Trump said: “We are talking about Kashmir and in relation to what’s going on with Pakistan and India. If we can help, we certainly will be helping. We have been watching it and following it very, very closely”.

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan added that there are issues that he wants to talk about, like Afghanistan. “Fortunately, we are 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,” said Mr. Khan

Asked if he would visit Pakistan while heading out to India, President Trump said, “We are visiting right now, so we won’t really have to. But I wanted to say hello for both a relationship standpoint… we have had a great relationship”.

President Trump had made his last offer of mediation over Kashmir issue in September, when the top leaders of most nations had gathered in the US for the United Nations General Assembly.

At the time, ahead of the meeting with the Pakistan Prime Minister, President Trump said he was “ready, willing and able” to mediate if both Mr. Khan and Prime Minister Narendra Modi wanted him to.

However, India has repeatedly underscored that Kashmir remains a bilateral issue – a position that the US agreed to last Wednesday when China made a third attempt to discuss Jammu and Kashmir at a meeting of the UN Security Council.

But while backing India’s position that Kashmir is a bilateral issue, the US expressed concerns earlier this month about the detentions of political leaders and the internet restrictions.

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