web Desk – September 10, 2019
United States President Donald Trump on Monday said that the conflict between India and Pakistan over Kashmir was “a little less heated” now in comparison to two weeks ago, as he once again offered to help the neighbouring countries.
While speaking to media before departing from The White House in Washington DC, in response to a question, President Trump said: “India and Pakistan are having a conflict over Kashmir as you know. I think it’s a little bit less heated right now than it was two weeks ago and I’m willing to help them.”
“I get along with both countries very well. I’m willing to help them if they want, they know that is out there,” he added.
Following India’s decision to strip Kashmiris of their seven-decade-long special autonomy through a rushed presidential order, tensions between Pakistan and India have been high. A communications blackout and heavy restrictions on movement imposed by the Indian authorities from the eve of this development have been in place for over a month now.
Pakistan downgraded diplomatic relations with New Delhi and suspended all bilateral trade. The Indian ambassador was asked to leave and train and bus services with India were also suspended. Furthermore, Pakistan decided to refuse a request by India to allow its president to use Pakistani airspace for a flight to Iceland.
After Article 370 was revoked, Trump spoke with both Prime Minister Imran Khan and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, urging a reduction of tension between the two countries over the Kashmir issue.
Spoke to my two good friends, Prime Minister Modi of India, and Prime Minister Khan of Pakistan, regarding Trade, Strategic Partnerships and, most importantly, for India and Pakistan to work towards reducing tensions in Kashmir. A tough situation, but good conversations!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 19, 2019
On August 26, discussing the issue on the sidelines of the G7 summit in France with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Trump had said that India and Pakistan could handle their dispute over occupied Kashmir on their own, but he was there should they need him.
The US leader first offered to mediate between India and Pakistan over Kashmir at a White House news conference with Prime Minister Imran on July 22. The prime minister had immediately accepted the offer, saying that over a billion people would pray for the US leader if he helped resolve the issue.
India, however, had declined the offer, saying that it wanted no external assistance for talks with Pakistan on Kashmir or any other issue