Donald Trump says he’s discussing Kashmir issue with Imran Khan | India News
“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 said in remarks on Tuesday, ahead of his meeting with Imran Khan on the sidelines of the World Economic Summit, in Davos, Switzerland.
It was not immediately clear what Trump meant by “working together on some borders,” but US officials, including during recent visits to Pakistan, have been impressing on Islamabad to stop cross-border terrorism and bankrolling of terror groups directing attacks against India.
Pakistan in turn has accused India of adopting an aggressive stance at the border and sought US help in not only defusing the situation but also in getting Pakistan out of the Financial Action Task Force listing as it complies with its requirements. The Trump administration and the international community is yet to be convinced that Pakistan has met all the metrics.
In his brief remarks, Imran Khan too pressed Trump to play an active role in resolving tensions with India. “For us, in Pakistan, it (India) is a big issue. And, of course, we always hope that the US will play its part in resolving it because no other country can,” Khan said, in a repetition of his plea he made to Trump during his visit to the White House in July 2019.
India has dismissed multiple Trump offers to play the role of a mediator as unnecessary while reiterating issues with Pakistan are bilateral in nature and can be resolved without third party intervention.
Trump also implicitly confirmed an upcoming visit to India while saying a concurrent visit to Pakistan was not on the cards. “Well, we’re visiting right now, so we won’t really have to,” he said in response to a question whether he will also be visit Pakistan, suggesting that since he has met Khan in Davos there would be no visit.
“But we — I wanted to say hello for both a relationship standpoint — we’ve had a great relationship — and from the standpoint of our two countries. We’re getting along very well. I would say we’ve never been closer with Pakistan than we are right now. And that’s a big statement, although I wouldn’t say at all times we were close, as a country. But we are very close right now because of the relationship that we have. So it’s very important,” Trump said.
Although he has met Prime Minister Modi several times over the past three years, Trump is expected to visit India in February for his first official visit as President, depending on the outcome of the impeachment trial in the Senate that began on Wednesday. A swift exoneration is expected to lead to a quick India visit, in part to burnish his foreign policy legacy and trade and business chops ahead of the November Presidential election.