‘Reduce tension over Kashmir bilaterally’, Donald Trump tells Imran Khan

Donald Trump on Friday finally put to rest a debate he had beaten up by saying Pakistan PM Imran Khan in a phone call that Pakistan and India should reduce tension over Kashmir and Jammu “through mutual dialogue”. There was no source to his earlier offer to interfere.

President Trump had made the agreement offer during Khan’s White House visit in July with a request that even Prime Minister Narendra Modi had asked him to, which was quickly and immediately denied by New Delhi, and repeated that the Kashmir problem could only be solved bilaterally, and only after Pakistan stopped supporting terrorism. Trump repeated the offer in reply to a question from journalists a few days later.

Both the White House and the state administration had sought to walk back that offer, but ever so carefully so as to not appear to be rude or changing the president so that there was no difference in the US position, and that the Kashmir problem must be solved through “direct dialogue” between India and Pakistan, and that the United States stood ready to assist.

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Trump has changed his stand now.

“The President sent the importance of India and Pakistan reducing tensions through mutual dialogue about the
reduce tension over Kashmir and Jammu,” White House communicator Hogan Gidley said in a report on the phone call.

The 2-leaders also considered “how they will proceed to build on the developing relationship between the United States and Pakistan and the energy created during their new meeting at the White House”, he added.

There was no evidence to the mediation offer in the readout, and it could not be directly determined if the Pakistani leader had brought it up or not, because Khan has tried to build on Trump’s first offer and has publicly called upon him to continue on his suggestion.

Details of Khan’s discussion with Trump were 1st made public by Pakistan’s foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi who responded, according to the state-run Radio Pakistan, “Prime Minister Khan conveyed Pakistan’s concern on new communities in Kashmir and the threat they pose to the regional peace.” Qureshi went on to say Khan had also called leaders of other UNSC active member countries.

The effort was directed at pushing Pakistan’s request to the UN and the UNSC, in letters from Qureshi, to call for an open and formal meeting of the Security Council to discuss Pakistan’s grievances on Kashmir developments. Pakistan had also asked to be provided to address the body.

Backed only by China, Pakistan got only closed-door informal consultations, which are not recorded and reported. And are not aired live. It also did not have the chance to address the members.

Neither Indian nor Pakistani officials were present at the consultations.
Khan’s call with Trump took place just hours before and help in improving Pakistan’s cause. Islamabad will have to pay for only “consultations”, not a “meeting”.


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