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“You have Hindus, you have Muslims”- Trump gives religious spin to Kashmir

Agency News

Washington, Aug 21: Showing keenness to help resolve the 'Kashmir dispute' between India and Pakistan, the US President Donald Trump on Wednesday gave religious spin to the decades old issue.

"You have the Hindus. And you have the Muslims. I wouldn't say they get along so great," Mr Trump said in the White House. Despite categorical assertion from New Delhi and the Kashmir dispute remains a bilateral issue between India and Pakistan, President Trump yet again said "we are helping (resolve) the situation". "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 Trump said.

"It's a complicated situation. A lot has to do with religion. Religion is a complicated subject," he said adding Kashmir poses a "very tough" situation. "I will be with Prime Minister Modi. I will be with him over the weekend in France," Mr Trump said indicating that there could be bilateral talks between him and Mr Modi on the sidelines of G-7.
Prime Minister Modi will be in Biarritz in France on August 25 and 26 at the invitation of French Emmanuel Macron for the 2019 G-7 Summit as ‘Biarritz Partner.'

Representing 58 per cent of the global net wealth, the Group of Seven (G-7) comprises US, UK, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan. Prime Minister Modi will be an 'invitee' at the G-7 Summit. Mr Modi's interactions-as a group participant and also during bilaterals with the French President and other world leaders on the sidelines of G-7- will hold significance as these would come days after the United Nations Security Council did not entertain a Pakistan 'request' to censure the Government of India on the situation in Jammu and Kashmir.

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.
Moreover, the G-7 meet comes ahead of the 74th United Nations General Assembly opening on September 17 as it is presumed that Pakistan could yet again try to rake up the Kashmir issue.

In his tele conversation with President Trump, PM Modi on Monday said 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".

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday spoke to Secretary of Defence Mark T Esper and told him that "issues relating to Article 370 are an internal matter of India which are aimed at improving growth and economic development, democracy and prosperity for the people of Jammu and Kashmir". UNI