“Spoke To My Two Good Friends”: Trump After Call With PM Modi, Imran Khan

Washington: 

Soon after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s 30-minute telephonic conversation with US President Donald Trump last night, the latter dialed Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan to discuss “the need to reduce tensions and moderate rhetoric with India over the situation in Jammu and Kashmir,” the White House said.

“Spoke to my two good friends, Prime Minister Modi of India, and Prime Minister Khan of Pakistan, regarding Trade, Strategic Partnerships and, most importantly, for India and Pakistan to work towards reducing tensions in Kashmir. A tough situation, but good conversations!” Mr Trump tweeted.

In his call with Mr Trump, PM Modi highlighted the importance of creating an environment free from terror and violence and eschewing cross-border terrorism without exception, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) said in a statement. The Prime Minister “stated that extreme rhetoric and incitement to anti-India violence by certain leaders in the region was not conducive to peace,” the government said.

The phone call between the two leaders was the first since the government announced its decision to end special status for Jammu and Kashmir.

The US President’s call with Mr Khan, however, is the second in less than a week. During the conversation, Mr Trump “reaffirmed the need to avoid escalation of the situation, and urged restraint” on both sides, the White House said.

In his previous call with Imran Khan, Mr Trump had pushed for talks between New Delhi and Islamabad. Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said, “Prime Minister Khan conveyed Pakistan’s concern on recent developments in Kashmir and the threat they pose to regional peace”.

President Trump had recently offered to mediate on Kashmir if India and Pakistan agreed. During a joint media appearance with Imran Khan at the White House, he also stunned India by saying that PM Modi sought his “mediation” on the Kashmir issue – a claim India denied.

Last week, Pakistan’s attempts to create a stir in the United Nations Security Council over Kashmir fell flat after most of the participating nations agreed that the ending the special status of Jammu and Kashmir and dividing it into two union territories was a bilateral matter between New Delhi and Islamabad.

The meeting of the 15 nations – five permanent members and 10 rotating members – ended without any resolution, which was seen as a massive snub to Pakistan and its all-weather ally China.

(With inputs from PTI)

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