On Kashmir, Donald Trump now offers "help", not "mediation"
In the last few weeks, US President Donald Trump has said (at least thrice) that he was ready to "mediate" to solve the Kashmir issue, a contentious matter between India and Pakistan. And on Monday, he renewed his offer, but this time he didn't use words like "mediation" or "intervention". Sticking to the word "help", Trump said he got along well with both countries.
Speaking to reporters on Monday, Trump said, "I'm willing to help them (India and Pakistan). I get along with both countries very well. I'm willing to help if they want." On tensions between India and Pakistan, which peaked after the former rescinded Article 370, Trump said, "I think (it) is a little bit less heated right now than (what) was two weeks ago."
It's important to shed light on Trump's choice of words. In the past, by using words like "intervene" and "mediate", the President showed immense interest in solving the decades-old issue. In fact, once, he said the dispute was extremely complicated and then going back on his own words he added it has to do with "religion" as Hindus and Muslims "don't get along well".
Evidently, Trump's offer to mediate and solve the crisis made Pakistan happy, but ruffled feathers in India. New Delhi has maintained all issues with the neighboring country would be solved bilaterally, and talks with Islamabad can begin only when cross-border terrorism stops. To recall, Trump's offer shocked India because he claimed Prime Minister Narendra Modi "sought his help", a charge the latter's government denied.
Trump watering down his proposal can also be seen as an effect of PM Modi's statement, which he made in France last month. In the European country, Trump and PM Modi held bilateral talks, after which the latter said India doesn't want to trouble any third country with the issues grappling its ties with Pakistan. With his statement, PM Modi politely declined Trump's proposition.