AGENCY Washington: India-Pakistan tensions over Kashmir are “a little bit less heated” now compared to two weeks ago, US President Donald Trump has said. Trump also reiterated his offer to help India and Pakistan in easing the bilateral tensions over Kashmir, if they want. The comments by Trump were his first since his meeting with Narendra Modi on the sidelines of the G7 summit in France on August 26 during which the prime minister categorically rejected any scope for third party mediation on Kashmir, saying it was a bilateral issue between India and Pakistan. “India and Pakistan are having a conflict over Kashmir as you know. I think (it) is a little bit less heated right now than (what) was two weeks ago,” Trump told reporters at the White House on Monday. Tension between India and Pakistan escalated after New Delhi revoked Jammu and Kashmir’s special status on August 5. “I get along with both countries very well,” Trump said while responding to a question on his assessment of the situation between India and Pakistan. “I am willing to help them if they want. They know that. That (offer) is out there,” he said. During a meeting with visiting Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan in July, Trump had offered to mediate between the two countries on the issue of Kashmir.
India was quick to reject the offer, saying the Kashmir issue was bilateral. It has also dismissed Trump’s startling claim that Modi had asked him to mediate.
During his meeting with Modi in France last month, Trump had said Kashmir is an issue that needs to be resolved between India and Pakistan.
“All the issues between India and Pakistan are of bilateral in nature, and we don’t want to trouble any third country. We can discuss and resolve these issues bilaterally,” Modi said.
He said India and Pakistan were together before 1947 and he was confident that the two neighbours can discuss their problems and solve them.
Asserting that abrogation of Article 370 was its internal matter, India has strongly criticised Pakistan for making “irresponsible statements” and provocative anti-India rhetoric over issues internal to it.
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