US President Donald Trump said Wednesday he encouraged India and Pakistan to work out their differences in separate meetings with their prime ministers this week.
“I said, ‘Fellas, work it out. Just work it out,’” Trump told a news conference after attending the UN General Assembly.
“Those are two nuclear countries. They’ve gotta work it out,” he said.
Tensions have soared this year between India and Pakistan, which have fought three full-fledged wars, two over the divided Himalayan territory of Kashmir.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi last month revoked the Muslim-majority region’s autonomy and imposed a clampdown that has snapped off most internet and cellular communications to ordinary people.
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has urged the United States to take up Kashmir, but India has long refused outside mediation, reported AFP.
Trump showed his support on Sunday for Modi by attending a rally with him before Indian-Americans in Houston, where the Hindu nationalist leader accused Pakistan of fomenting extremism.
As Imran Khan prepares to deliver another appeal to the world to address the situation in Kashmir, he faces the risk that rising anger in his country’s portion of the disputed region could spiral into a confrontation with India.
Some people in Pakistan’s portion of Kashmir said thousands of people were preparing to storm the line of control (LOC) - a ceasefire line agreed with India that is one of the most militarised frontiers in the world. Reuters could not independently verify the claims, reported Reuters.
But regional tensions have swelled since India stripped its portion of Kashmir of autonomy in August, made mass arrests, limited communications and imposed curfew-like restrictions in some areas to contain a decades-long uprising against New Delhi’s rule.
Khan has appealed to Kashmiris to give him the chance to sway the international community and he is scheduled to address the United Nations General Assembly in New York today.