New Delhi: Ever a businessman, U.S. President Donald Trump, faced with Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday, labelled India PM Narendra Modi’s observation as “very aggressive” (on Pakistan’s role in terror) at Sunday’s ‘Howdy, Modi!’ event at Houston and reiterated his offer to mediate in the Kashmir issue if both the countries agreed.
Trump also said that he did not realize Modi’s observations would be received so well in the stadium having 59,000 people.
As India stuck to its traditional position of no-third party-mediation on Jammu and Kashmir, this was the least the US President could do in a bid to mollify Khan he met with in the presence of Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and Islamabad’s Ambassador Asad Majeed Khan.
“You have two big countries and they are warring countries, and they’ve been fighting. I heard a very aggressive statement yesterday, not to say that I was there. I didn’t know I was going to hear that statement…but I was sitting there, I heard a very aggressive statement yesterday, from India, from the Prime Minister, and I will say it was very well received within room… that was a big room 59,000 people. But it was a very aggressive statement,” Trump told the media, with Imran Khan by his side, prior to their bilateral meeting.
While Imran Khan is trying hard to seek support from the international community to back Islamabad’s stance on Jammu and Kashmir, Trump’s comments indicated that he will not act without India’s approval.
Apparently, Trump aimed to strike a balance as he still hopes to get Pakistan’s help in a deal with the Taliban that could facilitate return of American boots from Kabul after 18 long years and make him give a shot to a second term as US President next year.
Repeating his offer to mediate between India and Pakistan, Trump said, “I am ready, willing and able. It’s a complex issue. It’s been going on for a long time. But if both want it, I will be ready to do it.”
“I also have a very good relationship with India. I have a good relationship with both. So if they decide to use that feeling …among both…I think we can help out.”
The White House readout of the Trump-Khan bilateral said the two leaders had discussed de-escalation of India-Pakistan tensions and the importance of dialogue as well as combating terror.
“The two leaders discussed opportunities to deepen mutually beneficial energy cooperation and trade ties. They also discussed ways to de-escalate tension between Pakistan and India,” the White House said.