US President Donald Trump has called the situation in Kashmir “explosive” and said both Prime Minister Imran Khan of Pakistan and Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India are in “a very tough situation”. He has renewed his offer to mediate.
The president was speaking during a media briefing on Tuesday in Washington DC.
“They’ve been having this, these talks, for hundreds of years, even under different names. But…Kashmir is a very complicated place. You have the Hindus and you have the Muslims, and I wouldn’t say they get along so great. And that’s what you have right now,” he told reporters.
“And you have millions of people that want to be ruled by others, and maybe on both sides. And you have two countries that haven’t gotten along well for a long time. And, frankly, it’s a very explosive situation,” he said.
He cited his calls with PM Khan and PM Modi, calling them both friends of his and “great people”. “They’re great people. And they love their countries. And they’re in a very tough situation,” he said. He was referring to phone calls he had with both premiers in which he urged them to reduce tensions in Kashmir.
“Kashmir is a very tough situation. And, you know, we’re talking about — this has been going on for decades and decades. Shooting. I don’t mean shooting like shooting a rifle, I mean like major shooting of howitzers, of — you know, of heavy arms. And it’s been going on for a long period of time,” said President Trump.
“So, you know, I think we’re helping the situation. But there are tremendous problems between those two countries, as you know. And I will do the best I can to mediate or do something. Great relationship with both of them, but they are not exactly friends at this moment. A complicated situation. A lot has to do with religion. Religion is a complicated subject,” he said.
India and Pakistan have been at odds since India repealed Article 370 of its constitution on August 5. The repeal revoked the special status granted to Kashmir as an autonomous state.