US President Donald Trump renewed on Monday his offer to mediate the Kashmir dispute between Pakistan and India.
“My offer always stands. I will be willing to help, it depends upon both these governments,” Trump told reporters after his meeting with the Pakistan premier on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly session in New York.
“I have a working relationship with Modi and Khan,” he said, boasting, “I have never failed as an arbitrator.”
The US president, however, said that only the two sides could decide on the matter. He urged the two countries to let him know if he could be of any help in this regard.
Trump also said that he had full confidence in PM Khan. He said Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi issued an aggressive statement, adding that every issue has a solution.
PM Khan said President Trump heads the most powerful country in the world and such a powerful country has a responsibility. “The United States can affect the UN, it has a voice. We look to the US,” he said.
The Pakistan premier said he wants immediate lifting of the curfew imposed in India-occupied Kashmir, in order to lessen the suffering of the Kashmiri people.
At this, the US president termed Khan a leader, who he said was speaking of peace under such circumstances.
New Delhi controversially revoked on August 5 the autonomous status of the part of Jammu and Kashmir it controls. Hours before its move, it curtailed movement and shut down phones and the internet, bringing hundreds of thousands of troops in the occupied Himalayan territory.
The two nuclear-armed neighbours have since been locked into a war of words, with tensions heightening at the border. Split between India and Pakistan since 1947, Kashmir has been the spark for two major wars and countless clashes between the two arch-rivals.
The Pakistan premier also pressed Trump to resume peace talks with the Taliban. “Stability in Afghanistan means stability in Pakistan,” Khan said at the start of the meeting with Trump.
Trump said it was “ridiculous” that the United States had been fighting there for 19 years. However, he made no promises about restarting talks with the Taliban, saying only “we’ll see”.
Khan is in New York leading the Pakistan delegation to the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly. He will address the session on Friday and highlight the humanitarian crisis in India-occupied Kashmir, originating from New Delhi’s August 5 unilateral and illegal actions.
During the visit, the Foreign Office said in a statement, the prime minister will share Pakistan’s perspective on the Jammu and Kashmir dispute, its current human rights situation and related dimensions.
PM Khan will avail the opportunity to articulate Pakistan’s stance on some key contemporary issues, the statement read. Overall, the centrality of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute would be emphasised through myriad engagements.
The prime minister also met on Monday his British counterpart Boris Johnson on the sidelines of the ongoing UNGA session. He is scheduled to hold meetings with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Swiss President Ueli Maurer, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, and China’s Vice President Wang Qishan.
Other important engagements of the premier include meetings with World Bank President David Malpass and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi. Khan also addressed on Monday the US Council on Foreign Relations. He is also scheduled to speak at the United Nations Climate Action Summit 2019.
A day earlier, Amnesty International Secretary General Kumi Naidoo called on the Pakistan premier. Khan apprised the Amnesty International chief of the humanitarian crisis in occupied Kashmir.
The prime minister noted that even human rights organisations were not being given access to people in the occupied valley. He appreciated the role of Amnesty International in highlighting the situation in the disputed Himalayan territory.