US President Donald Trump said yesterday that India and Pakistan could handle their dispute over occupied Kashmir on their own, but he was there should they need him.
Trump has previously offered to mediate between India and Pakistan on the contested Himalayan region. New Delhi rejected the offer while Islamabad welcomed it.
He discussed the issue on the sidelines of a G7 summit in France with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who withdrew special autonomy for occupied Jammu and Kashmir on August 5.
Trump said Modi told him that he had Kashmir under control.
“We spoke last night about Kashmir, prime minister really feels he has it under control. They speak with Pakistan and I’m sure that they will be able to do something that will be very good,” the US president told reporters.
Modi, speaking alongside Trump, said that all issues between New Delhi and Islamabad were “bilateral in nature”.
“There are many bilateral issues between India and Pakistan, 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 that he was “confident that we can discuss our problems and solve them, together”.
The Indian premier also said he has told Prime Minister Imran Khan that they should work together for the welfare of their two countries.
Since India’s decision to strip Kashmiris of their special autonomy through a rushed presidential order earlier this month, Prime Minister Imran has repeatedly said that the Indian government’s policy in the Himalayan region is in line with the “ideology” of the Hindu nationalist Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) party.