Sunday, January 17, 2021

Trump Could Again Raise Kashmir Issue With Modi During India Trip?

Pakistan is hopeful that US President Donald Trump who is scheduled to visit India soon will continue to offer his mediation offer on Kashmir. Pakistan has aggressively raised the Kashmir issue on almost all global forums, post the Indian revocation of Article 370.

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According to Pakistan Foreign Office spokesperson quoting US media reports – Trump is likely to take up the Kashmir issue with Indian PM Narendra Modi during his maiden visit. However, experts talking to the EurAsian Times have termed it highly unlikely especially in the presence of media.

Foreign Office spokesperson Aisha Farooqui told a weekly news briefing on Thursday that Islamabad hopes President Trump would take up the issues with the Indian leadership.

“We hope that during the US president’s visit the issues being faced by the people of IOJ&K will be raised with the Indian government and the offer of mediation expressed by the US president is taken forward through some concrete, practical step,” she said.

Jammu and Kashmir has been in lockdown since August 5, 2019, when the Modi-government revoked the contentious Article 370 of the constitution which gave special status to the region.

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Trump claimed in a meeting with Pakistan PM Imran Khan in July last year at the White House that Modi had requested him to meditate on the Kashmir issue. Although Modi never directly answered to Trump’s claim, New Delhi reacted strongly and said it would never accept third party mediation.

But despite India’s objection, Trump once again brought up the Kashmir issue during his discussions with Premier Imran on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly session in New York in September 2019.

Earlier, Donald Trump at World Economic Forum (WEF) summit in Davos had revealed that he and Pakistan PM Imran Khan were “working together on some borders” and discussing the Kashmir issue.

“We’re working together on some borders, and we’re talking about Kashmir and the relation to what’s going on with Pakistan and India. And if we can help, we certainly will be helping. And we’ve been watching that and following it very, very closely,” Trump had said, ahead of his meeting with Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on the sidelines of the WEF summit in Davos.

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Officials of the Ministry of External Affairs said Trump’s offer wasn’t new and that India’s answer isn’t going to be new either. “India has always rejected third party role in its bilateral relationship with Pakistan, including several offers of mediation made by President Trump,” an official said.

Though President Trump at Davos did not elaborate which borders the US and Pakistan were working on, however, PM Imran PM Khan hinted, “The main issue is Afghanistan because it concerns the US and Pakistan. Thankfully, we are on the same page. Both of us are interested in peace there and an orderly transition in Afghanistan with talks with the Taliban and the government.”

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