‘Imran Khan forced me to mediate on Kashmir issue, but I don't intend to’, Trump to PM Modi
New Delhi, Feb 28: US President Donald Trump, while holding bilateral talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, reportedly told the latter that Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has been forcing him to mediate between New Delhi and Islamabad over decade-old Kashmir dispute.
Though Trump offered to mediate between India and Pakistan over Kashmir issue, POTUS, on his recent visit to India is learnt to have told Prime Minister that he does not intend to do the same.
According to reports, Khan keeps pressing Trump to mediate on the Kashmir issue every time they meet. Trump, however, has made it clear that he does not intend to do so.
Notably, Trump was on his maiden official visit to India from February 24 to 25. He was accompanied by First Lady Melania and a high-powered delegation comprising senior US administration officials, including National Security Advisor Robert O'Brien.
During a press conference in New Delhi on Day 2 of his India visit, Trump in a joint press conference with Modi in Delhi, termed the Kashmir issue a 'big problem'.
He, however, added that he is willing to help the two countries and mediate because he shares good equations with the two prime ministers. "If anything I can do to mediate, I will do," he said.
Later in the press conference when he was specifically asked about his mediation offer that he had floated after the Modi government decided to abrogate Article 370, Trump said, "I didn't say anything about that (mediation)."
President Trump, in the past, had offered to mediate on the Kashmir issue multiple times but New Delhi has always told Washington that it is a bilateral matter between India and Pakistan and there is no scope for any third-party mediation.
On being asked about India's rejection of his earlier offer to mediate on Kashmir, the US president said he is not offering to mediate on the issue. "Kashmir has been a thorn in a lot of people"s sides for a long time. There are two sides to every story," said the US President.
Tensions between India and Pakistan escalated after New Delhi revoked Article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcated the state into two union territories. Since then Pakistan has continuously tried to internationalise the issue but has failed to get support on the same.