The US President Donald Trump has taken a big u-turn on his mediation offer and said that India and Pakistan could handle their dispute over Kashmir on their own, but he was there should they need him. He discussed the issue on the sidelines of a G7 summit in France with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who withdrew autonomy for the state of Jammu and Kashmir on fifth of this month.
He said Modi told him that he had Kashmir under control. The U.S. president has previously offered to mediate between India and Pakistan on Kashmir, a mountainous region which has been the source of repeated confrontations between the two nuclear-armed neighbors ever since they gained independence from British colonial rule in 1947.
“We spoke last night about Kashmir, the prime minister really feels he has it under control,” he told reporters. “They speak with Pakistan and I’m sure that they will be able to do something that will be very good,” he said. Trump infuriated the Indian government last month when he said Modi had asked him to mediate in the dispute, drawing an immediate denial from New Delhi.
Sitting alongside Trump, Modi said the issues over Kashmir were bilateral, between India and Pakistan. Modi’s abrupt decision this month to cancel the mainly Muslim region’s autonomous status triggered weeks of protests, mainly in the restive district of Soura, which has emerged as the center of discontent.
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16 November, 2019