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Trump once again offers to help Pakistan-India over Kashmir

September 10, 2019
 

Photo: AFP

US President Donald Trump has again offered to help Pakistan and India resolve the conflict over Kashmir.

Speaking to reporters at the White House, Donald Trump said, “I am willing to help them if they want. They know that. That [offer] is out there.”

Trump also observed that he gets along well with both India and Pakistan.

Talking about the heightened tensions between India and Pakistan ever since the abrogation of Article 370, Trump said, “India and Pakistan are having a conflict over Kashmir as you know. I think it is a little bit less heated right now than it was two weeks ago,” he said.

Related: Watch: Donald Trump’s statement on the Kashmir crisis

During a meeting with Prime Minister Imran Khan in July, Trump had offered to mediate between the two countries on the issue of Kashmir. Trump had for the first time offered to mediate in the matter after this meeting with PM Khan.

Last month, however, the US president took a U-turn on his earlier offer after meeting Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the sidelines of a G7 summit in France.

He changed his stance and said the two countries can ‘handle their own dispute’. It was expected that the US president would press the Indian premier to lift a communication blackout in Kashmir and show “utmost restraint”.

Related: Trump renews offer to mediate amid ‘explosive’ situation in Kashmir

But Trump had reportedly taken a back foot. AFP had reported that Trump said Modi told him that he had Kashmir “under control”.

Modi, speaking alongside Trump, had said the Kashmir issue was a bilateral one between India and Pakistan, the agency had said.

On August 5, Modi’s government revoked the autonomy of the Muslim-majority territory where tens of thousands of people have been killed in an uprising against Indian rule since 1989, most of them civilians.

Related: Trump backtracks on Kashmir mediation offer after meeting Modi

New Delhi sent reinforcements to the estimated half a million troops already stationed in Kashmir, cut phone lines and the internet, placed severe restrictions on movement and arrested thousands, according to multiple sources.

The turning of the former Himalayan kingdom of seven million people into a fortress of barricades and barbed wire has not prevented protests and clashes with security forces taking place, however.

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