India and Pakistan have got to 'work it out': Trump
United States President Donald Trump, who has lately been taking a lot of interest in issues concerning India and Pakistan, on Wednesday said both warring South Asian neighbors have "got to work it out". He reminded that India and Pakistan are nuclear powers and said he was ready to do "whatever he can". Earlier, he had offered to intervene to solve the differences.
Ties between India and Pakistan got strained after 2016 Uri attack, and the surgical strikes which followed. But in February this year, tensions peaked after Jaish-e-Mohammed, an outfit functioning from Pakistan, orchestrated Pulwama attack, prompting India to launch Balakot airstrikes. In August, after New Delhi rescinded Article 370, Pakistan saw red (?) and made several attempts to internationalize the matter.
This week, Trump met both Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Pakistan's Imran Khan on the sidelines of United Nations General Assembly. Before the UNGA session in New York, he attended PM Modi's mega rally in Houston. Thereafter, in his meeting with Khan, the American President renewed his offer for mediation while adding that India has to "ask him too".
Addressing media, Trump said he had "productive discussions" with both Prime Ministers and claimed they were his "good friends". "You look at the two gentlemen (PM Modi and Khan) heading those two countries... two good friends of mine. I said, fellows work it out, just work it out. Those are two nuclear countries, got to work it out," Trump said.
"With respect to Pakistan and India, we talked about Kashmir. I offered whether it is arbitration or mediation, or whatever it has to be I'll do whatever I can because they are at very serious odds right now and hopefully that will get better," he added.
To note, Trump has more than once offered "help". In fact, White House said that he "encouraged" PM Modi to work towards improving ties with Pakistan and fulfill the promise of making lives of Kashmiri people better. Later, India's Foreign Minister S Jaishankar remarked that New Delhi had no issues with initiating talks with Islamabad but it can't have a conversation with "terroristan".
Interestingly, Jaishankar said problems with Pakistan go beyond Kashmir as the country has created an "entire industry" of terrorism to carry out attacks on India. "Issue is not whether to talk or not, everybody wants to talk to their neighbor. The issue is how do I talk to a country that is conducting terrorism and follows a policy of implausible deniability," he asked.
"India is a democracy and people will not accept cricket and terror. We cannot take a tea break the next day and then play cricket. Cannot have terror by night and cricket by day," the foreign minister said in New York.