Rajat Sharma

Trump gives a sound rebuff to Pakistan on Kashmir

AKB2509 US President Donald Trump, speaking to the media with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New York on Tuesday, clearly endorsed the Indian PM’s handling of Kashmir issue.

When a reporter asked what message he wanted to give Pakistan considering its Prime Minister Imran Khan had admitted in a gathering in US that Pakistan’s army and ISI had trained Al-Qaeda and other terror outfits, President Trump replied: “The message is not for me to give..it is for Prime Minister Modi to give, and I think he gave that loud and clear the other day….He gave a pretty loud message and I am sure he will be able to handle that situation.”

On Imran Khan’s remark, Trump said he had not heard his remarks but added that “I know this, that your Prime Minister will take care of it. You have a great Prime Minister, he will solve the problem. I have no doubt about it.”

On state sponsorship of terrorism by Pakistan, Trump said: “You mentioned Pakistan but Iran would have to be at the top of the list..It will be great if they (India and Pakistan) could work out something on Kashmir, we all want to see that… I believe Prime Minister Modi and Khan will get along when they get to know each other and I think a lot of good things will come from that meeting.”

Indian officials in New York say, Prime Minister Modi had conveyed to Trump that he was not averse to talks with Imran Khan, but Pakistan would first have to take concrete steps against terror.

The remarks by the US president are being seen as a devastating blow to the Pakistani establishment, which had been on diplomatic overdrive for the past several weeks trying to seek US mediation and international support on the Kashmir issue.

On the other hand, Trump effusively praised Prime Minister Modi by describing him as the “father of India”. He said: “I remember India before, not intimately, but I remember India before. It was very torn, there was a lot of dissension and a lot of fighting and he brought it all together. Like a father would bring it together, and maybe he is the father of India. We will call him the father of India..”

On the Houston event, Trump compared Modi with singer Elvis Presley. “There was tremendous spirit in that room too and they love this gentleman to my right..Those people went crazy, that was like Elvis..it was like, Elvis Presley came back.”

Clearly Trump has given out the message that so long as India does not want, he would not mediate on the Kashmir issue. India, on its part, is firm in its stand that Jammu & Kashmir has always been an integral part of India. Until and unless Pakistan stops aiding and abetting terrorists, there is no point in holding bilateral talks with a country that has always reneged on its commitments in the last 72 years.

Moreover, there is no point comparing Imran Khan with Narendra Modi. The Indian prime minister has rightly emerged as one of the world’s top and powerful leaders, whereas Imran Khan has now to think what to tell his countrymen when he returns to Pakistan empty handed.

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