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Agencies
September 24, 2019

Imran solicits POTUS help for ending Kashmir curfew: Trump assures he’ll talk to Modi

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A
Agencies
September 24, 2019

NEW YORK: Terming him ‘an extremely good arbitrator’, US President Donald Trump on Monday reiterated his offer to mediate between Pakistan and India on the Kashmir dispute and lauded Prime Minister Imran Khan’s political wisdom and leadership role for regional peace and development.

In a joint news conference after meeting Prime Minister Imran Khan on the sidelines of the 74th United Nations General Assembly session here, Trump said he had good relations with both the prime ministers — Imran Khan and Narendra Modi. The US president said Kashmir was a 'complex' issue and he could mediate "if both want it". "At any point of time, I would be an extremely good arbitrator," he said. Trump said he had never failed as an arbitrator in the past and would be available to help if asked. "I am ready, willing and able. It's a complex issue. It's been going on for a long time. But if both want it, I will be ready to do it," Trump said.

This was the second interaction between the two leaders after July this year when they met at the Oval Office during the former’s bilateral visit to Washington and the latter had first made mediation offer on Kashmir. To a question about the human rights violations in the Indian Occupied Kashmir, the US president said he wanted everyone to be treated well. "He hoped both Pakistan and India would work for resolution of the issue. He said he wanted to meet Prime Minister Imran during the UNGA session as he (Imran) wanted to play his role for the regional development.Commenting on Pakistan's progress to counter terrorism, the US president said: "I have heard they have made great progress and I think he (Imran) wants to make great progress." Speaking about the US-Pakistan relationship, Trump said: "People in my position have treated Pakistan very badly." "I trust Pakistan but people before me didn't, but they didn't know what they were doing," he said in response to a question. "I trust this gentleman right here," he added, pointing to Prime Minister Imran. He said they discussed enhancing the bilateral trade volume between the two countries which was currently very low. Trump said he had a lot of Pakistani friends in New York who were "smart" and "great negotiators". Trump said he had heard a "very aggressive" statement from Modi on Sunday, adding: "I hope they (Pakistan and India) are going to be able to come together and do something that's really smart and good for both. "There is always a solution and I do believe that there is a solution."

Referring to Afghanistan, he said he had great discussion with Prime Minister Imran Khan on dialogue with the Taliban, situation in Afghanistan and regional peace. Prime Minister Imran Khan urged the US president to play his role to resolve the Kashmir issue after India had turned down his mediation offer. He said the human catastrophe was taking place in the territory and Trump, being the president of the most powerful country, could help put out the flames there. He asked President Trump to assume responsibility in that regard as being head of a major power. Referring to the Afghan issue, he said stability in Afghanistan was need of the hour and in the best interest of Pakistan.

The prime minister, who reached here Saturday on week-long visit, also met the US lawmakers, including Senate Leader Chuck Schumer and Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee Lindsay Graham, and US-based Kashmir leaders to discuss the Kashmir issue. Imran Khan also met his British counterpart Boris Johnson, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and US Special Envoy for Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad.

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