Indo-Pak tensions less heated now: Donald Trump

Washington: Tensions between India and Pakistan over Kashmir is ‘less heated’ now than what was two weeks ago, US President Donald Trump has said, reiterating his offer to help the two South-Asian neighbours ease the situation, only if both of them want.

The comments by Trump were his first since his meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the sidelines of the G7 summit in France on 26 August.

‘India and Pakistan are having a conflict over Kashmir as you know. I think (it) is a little bit less heated right now than (what) was two weeks ago,’ Trump told reporters at the White House on Monday.

Tensions between the two neighbours escalated after New Delhi revoked Jammu and Kashmir’s special status by scrapping provisions of Article 370 of the Constitution.

‘I get along with both countries very well,’ Trump said while responding to a question on his assessment of the situation between India and Pakistan. ‘I am willing to help them if they want. They know that. That (offer) is out there,’ he said.

During a meeting with visiting Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan in July, Trump had offered to mediate between the two countries on the issue of Kashmir.

India was quick to reject the offer, saying the Kashmir issue was bilateral. It has also dismissed Trump’s astonishing claim that Modi had asked him to mediate.

During his meeting with Modi in France last month, Trump had said Kashmir is an issue that needs to be resolved between India and Pakistan.

Asserting that abrogation of Article 370 was its internal matter, India has strongly criticised Pakistan for making ‘irresponsible statements’ and provocative anti-India rhetoric over issues internal to it.