US President Donald Trump on Monday once again said he would be willing to mediate on the Kashmir issue if both Pakistan and India want Washington’s help.
Trump was addressing the media with Prime Minister Imran Khan before their one-on-one meeting on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly session in New York.
When asked if he was concerned about human rights violations in Indian Occupied Kashmir, he said,”Yes…I am, I want both sides to come to the negotiating table.” Trump hoped India and Pakistan could come together to resolve their differences over Kashmir. “The previous US governments have treated Pakistan badly and I really trust and like him [Imran Khan],” he said. “I think it’s important that both sides want Washington to mediate on the Kashmir issue,” he said. When Imran was asked about his expectations from President Trump on Kashmir, he replied by saying,”The world looks to the US to put out the flames in the world. Trump is set to meet Indian Premier Narendra Modi later this week. The US president noted that Kashmir’s was a complex issue that had been going on for a long time, but emphasised that arbitration could not be carried out unless both parties involved welcome it.
Trump said he has a “very good relationship” with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi as well as with Prime Minister Imran. He said he has never failed as an arbitrator in the past and would be available to help if asked.
Avoiding to directly answer a question about UN resolutions on Kashmir, Trump reiterated that he is ready to play his role in South Asia if both India and Pakistan are willing.
Speaking about the US-Pakistan relationship, Trump said: “People in my position have treated Pakistan very badly. I trust Pakistan but people before me didn’t, but they didn’t know what they were doing,” he said in response to a question.
“I trust this gentleman right here,” he added, pointing to Prime Minister Imran. Trump said he has a lot of Pakistani friends in New York who are “smart” and “great negotiators”.
Commenting on Pakistan’s progress to counter terrorism, the US president said: “I have heard they have made great progress and I think he (Imran) wants to make great progress.”
Answering a question, Trump termed Iran as the “number one state of terror in the world”.
He said Iran is “doing very poorly”. He added when he took office, “Iran was a real threat to the entire Middle East and maybe beyond. And now they are having very very big difficulties to put it mildly.”
The two leaders spoke about the ongoing situation in the Indian-occupied Kashmir, with PM Imran telling Trump that he felt that it was “the beginning of a crisis”.
Addressing the US president and the reporters, he said: “Trump heads the most powerful country in the world. And the most powerful country in the world has a responsibility.