India Rebut Trump`s Claim To Kashmir Mediation
U.S. President Donald Trump offered to help mediate the long-running Kashmir conflict between Pakistan and India as he met with Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, for the first time on Monday at the White House, Trump claimed Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, had also asked him to play a role.
Trump said he would be keen to help if the two countries asked him. “If I can, I would love to be a mediator,” Trump said.
After Khan responded that he would welcome Trump’s help mediating the conflict, Trump revealed that India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi had also asked him to do the same and said he would “gladly” play the role.
Khan who is on his first visit to the White House said he hoped that the president would be able to “bring the two countries together,” adding the U.S. could play the “most important role.” Trump responded that he would love to be a mediator” and added Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had asked him to play a role.
However, less than an hour after the live televised press briefing at the White House ended, India rejected the U.S. offer to mediate and denied Trump’s description of the conversation with Modi.
A spokesperson for India’s Ministry of External Affairs said the prime minister had made “no such request.” According to Trump: Modi had asked him during a recent exchange, “would you like to be a mediator?” Trump said he responded: “Where?”
A White House spokesperson refused to comment about India’s denial of Trump’s description of the conversation. Before India released its statement rebutting Trump’s claim, the White House spokesperson refused to confirm Trump’s assertion.
Khan has previously expressed concern that recent skirmishes between Pakistan and India would escalate into war. At the time Pakistan’s ambassador to the U.S., Asad Khan called on the U.S. to increase diplomatic efforts to avert a war.
Trump also touted U.S. military capabilities in Afghanistan, he said that he could win the war in Afghanistan in a week, but that he doesn’t want to kill millions of people and wipe Afghanistan “off the face of the earth.”
He said he wants to work with Pakistan to help get a deal with the Taliban that would end America’s longest war. “I could win that war in a week” but “I don’t want to kill millions of people,” Trump said.
Afghanistan was high on Trump’s agenda as he met with Khan. White House officials said last week, Pakistan can use its influence with the Taliban to help the U.S. “extricate” from Afghanistan.
Trump said although the relationship has been fraught it is improving “it’s the best it has been for a long time and it is getting better.” Trump said.
Trump also boasted that he had many Pakistani friends In New York and while nodding towards Khan said, “they are like him strong and determined… Pakistanis are great people” Imran wants to reset relations with the U.S. in hopes of securing more investment, trade and possibly a restoration of American aid that Trump cut.
Khan said he never believed that there was a military solution to the war — he thinks the U.S. and the Taliban are closer to a peace deal than ever before. Monday’s visit was meant to smooth tensions and address complex problems facing both countries.
Earlier in the day leading Republican Sen Lindsey Graham called on Khan at Pakistan house.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.), a top ally of the president on Capitol Hill, played a key role in arranging the White House meeting, according to Pakistani officials Graham was “blown away” by Khan when he visited Islamabad in January and praised what he saw as a change in Pakistan’s security policies.
Khan and Graham discussed bilateral relations and the region; following the meeting Graham tweeted “Tremendous business opportunities exist between Pakistan and the U.S. through a free trade agreement tied to our mutual interests. It’s also our best chance in decades to reset the relationship between the U.S. and Pakistan.”