The mixed response to the meeting between Khan and Trump
BY: Syed Basharat
Imran Khan’s first face-to-face talks with Donald Trump have removed the ‘vacuum’ in the bilateral ties and allowed the PM Khan to present Pakistan’s point of view to the US President in a calmer atmosphere. President Trump hosted Khan at the White House and the two leaders had a frank exchange of ideas, as per the reports in the international media, and both the leaders spoke over a wide range of issues as well.
However, President Trump’s offer to mediate between Pakistan and India over Kashmir seems to have been slightly out of schedule thing having been discussed. It provoked mixed responses from India as well as Pakistan and became a contentious issue for various political parties to chip in and express their liking or disliking of it. So much so that one section of Indian polity went on to say that that Trump’s idea was flawed and India didn’t want any sort of interference on the Kashmir matter.
When Qureshi was asked about the reaction of India on mediation offered by US on Kashmir, he said, “India always says that it wants bilateral talks on Kashmir, but they never come to the table for talks. They do not want mediation and they do not want bilateral talks”.
While replying to a journalist’s question at a joint press conference with the Prime Minister Imran Khan, Donald Trump said, “If I can help, I would love to be a mediator”. US president told the media that it was in fact Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi who broached the subject while meeting Mr Trump two weeks ago.
Pakistan, India and the Kashmiris who will have to take the final decision to resolve this seven-decade-old imbroglio however found no great motivation in Trumps statement and rather seem stuck to their age-old political stances which have yielded no results at all. A friendly ‘push’ from powerful global actors may help the stakeholders to reach a mutually acceptable solution, nobody seems to appreciate this face.
The people of Jammu and Kashmir termed the US President’s statement as very productive, saying that it was unprecedented. It was also observed by many Global Actors who also supported the US President offer to mediate on Kashmir Issue in a positive way. Chinese Foreign Ministry’s Spokesperson Hua Chunying said that, “we support the international community, the US included, in playing a constructive role in improving Pakistan-India relations through dialogue. We hope the two countries can peacefully settle the Kashmir issue and other bilateral disputes through dialogue, and make concerted efforts to safeguard peace and stability in South Asia”.
Firdous Ashiq Awan, special assistance to Pakistan’s Prime Minister on information, told reporters that “We welcome the U.S. president’s offer of mediation on the Kashmir dispute and we want progress in this direction.
It will be great to see if the international powers can impress upon the two nuclear neighbors to settle down their issues amicably and peacefully, the biggest issue being that of Kashmir.