US President Doland Trump, during his meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the sidelines of G-7 Summit, agreed that Kashmir is a "bilateral issue". Backing off from his earlier statements to mediate between India and Pakistan, Trump supported PM Modi when he said India doesn't "want to trouble any third country". Appearing before the media after their overnight talks, both PM Modi and Trump said India and Pakistan should resolve the issues bilaterally.
"We spoke last night about Kashmir, Prime Minister [Modi] 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," said Trump. Sitting beside the US President, PM Modi, while reiterating India's stance on Kashmir, said: "All the issues between India and Pakistan are of bilateral, and we don't want to trouble any third country. We can discuss and resolve these issues bilaterally."
This was the first official meeting between both the leaders after the revocation of Article 370 in J&K, a move that has been vehemently criticised by Pakistan. "India and Pakistan were together before 1947 and I'm confident that we can discuss our problems and solve them together," PM Modi said, adding the two nations should come together fight poverty and for the well being of the people.
"When I called Prime Minister Khan after the elections, I told him that Pakistan has to fight against poverty, India has to also fight against it. Pakistan has to fight against illiteracy and disease, and India has to also fight against them...I told him we should work together for the welfare of our people," Modi said.
Donald Trump said he has a very good relationship with "both the gentlemen (Modi and Khan)". "I think they can do it (resolve the issue) themselves," said Trump.
Contrary to PM Modi's statements on fighting poverty and uplifting poor, Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan issued a nuclear threat to India. He called India's decision on Kashmir a "historic blunder" and said "if there is a war, then the world should remember that both India and Pakistan are nuclear powers. And in case of war, no one will win, but the world will be responsible as the effects of war will be felt by everyone".
Meanwhile, India has said nuclear war cry is Pakistan's "standard" tactic. "It is standard Paksitani tactic. What the Pakistanis have failed to do is translate this engagement into mediation. There is a fundamental distinction between engagement and mediation and the latter is what Pakistan has always failed to achieve," Vivek Katju, former secretary, MEA, said.
On the issue of Pakistan raising the Kashmir issue on the international forums, experts suggest the country would never succeed in doing so. They believe that while the current US Administration is transactional, and it needs Pakistan, it also needs India on the economic and strategic sphere. "There is never going to be mediation in Kashmir whether Trump says it or not. That is the reality..." Christine Fair, Strategic Affairs Expert, said.Pakistan PM Imran Khan to address the nation on Kashmir issue at 6 pm
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