At a White House press conference Monday (July 22) with Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, President Donald Trump said Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had asked him to mediate the Kashmir conflict.
Trump said that Modi had discussed the subject with him during their meeting in Osaka, Japan, last month.
"I was with Prime Minister Modi two weeks ago, and talking of the subject, and he said 'would you like to be a mediator?', and I asked where? and he said Kashmir.' I said if I could mediate, I will help.
"I would love to help on Kashmir," he said, adding it is a "terrible situation in Kashmir... bombs going off all the time."
In a press statement released shortly after Trump's press conference, the Indian Ministry of External Affairs stated that Modi had not asked Trump to mediate.
"We have seen President Trump's remarks to the press that he is ready to mediate, if requested by India and Pakistan, on the Kashmir issue. No such request has been made by Prime Minister to the US President," the Indian statement said.
"It has been India's consistent position that all outstanding issues with Pakistan are discussed only bilaterally. Any engagement with Pakistan would require an end to cross-border terrorism. The Shimla Agreement and the Lahore Declaration provide the basis to resolve all issues between India and Pakistan bilaterally," it stated.
Tellingly, India and Pakistan had fought three wars and numerous border skirmishes since 1947. The border between the two nuclear-armed powers remains contested in Kashmir, now one of the most militarized regions of the world.
Peace process in Afghanistan
President Trump said Pakistan is a great country that helped the US to a great extent in moving forward the peace process in Afghanistan and we are working with Islamabad actively.
Replying to a question, he said the US has already withdrawn certain number of troops from Afghanistan. He, however, said he will not take any step in removal of troops hastily.
Speaking on the occasion, Prime Minister Imran Khan said the US is vital for Pakistan and we have relations spanning over many decades since independence of our country.
Imran Khan said Pakistan fought as a front-line state both during Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and also in war on terror. He said there is no military solution to the Afghan conflict.
He said there should be no question on Pakistan's sincerity in resolving this conflict.
He said Pakistan needs economic stability as we have been fighting the war against terror for the last fifteen years, during which we suffered casualties of seventy thousand people and loss of 150 billion dollars in damaged infrastructure. Imran Khan said our role is to bring Taliban to the negotiating table with the Afghan government. He said we are closer to a peace deal in Afghanistan.
Trump held a press conference ahead of talks with Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, who is at the White House for the first time Monday.
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