Washington, Aug 21: In yet another indication that the US is still keen to mediate on Kashmir between India and Pakistan, President Donald Trump on Wednesday said there are "tremendous problems" between two Asian neighbours and that he is "helping" resolve the situation.
"Frankly, it is a very explosive situation. I spoke to Prime Minister Imran Khan also with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. They are both friends of mine. They are great people and they love their country," Mr Trump said in the White House. "I will be with Prime Minister Modi ...I will be with him over the weekend in France (G-7 meet). I think, we are helping (resolve) the situation," he said.
"There are tremendous problems between those two countries....and I will do my best as I can to mediate or do something.....they (India and Pakistan) are not really friends at this moment," President said. India has time and again mentioned clearly and categorically before the international community including the UN that the scrapping of Article 370 of the Constitution to revoke the special status of Jammu and Kashmir was strictly an internal matter.
New Delhi is also opposed to any third party negotiation on Kashmir or any bilateral issue with Pakistan. Last month after President Trump's offer for mediation sparked row, India had categorically rejected the offer. After Mr Trump's controversial remarks that Prime Minister Modi has requested him to mediate on Kashmir, External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar categorically assured Parliament during just concluded Budget session the Prime Minister has made no such 'request' to the US President. "It has been India's consistent position that all outstanding issues with Pakistan are discussed only bilaterally.
Any engagement with Pakistan would require an end to cross-border terrorism," Dr Jaishankar has said. In tune with the same spirit, India's Permanent Representative to the UN Syed Akbaruddin told journalists in New York last week that Islamaad should give up 'terror' to resume talks with Indian government. "Stop terror to start talks...," he has said.
In his tele conversation with President Trump, PM Modi on Monday made a veiled attack on Imran Khan without naming him and has said - "...extreme rhetoric and incitement to anti-India violence by certain leaders in the region (South Asia) was not conducive to peace". UNI