It is really up to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to accept the offer of mediation, says U.S. President Donald Trump. He reiterated his stand on mediation on the Kashmir issue between India and Pakistan.
On July 22, during a U.S. visit by Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, Trump had said he would “love to be a mediator”. But the U.S. State Department had later clarified the president’s statements saying Kashmir issue was a “bilateral issue” concerning Islamabad and New Delhi.
Trump told reporters on Thursday that its really up to PM Modi to accept the offer of mediation. “I think they are fantastic people – Khan and Modi – I mean. I would imagine they could get along very well, but if they wanted somebody to intervene, to help them and I spoke with Pakistan about that and I spoke frankly in India about it,” he said and added that he would “certainly intervene” if they wanted.
Washington has rolled the ball to India to initiate a peace solution for the burning Kashmir issue. Over the years, there has been sporadic unrest that spreads all over the Valley in no time. And this hurdles the day-to-day lives of the people, affects education and business. Moreover, in the past three years, since the encounter of Burhan Wani, youths have joined militancy in retaliation and have been neutralized by the armed forces. The government is not ready to dialogue or hear the grievances and aspirations of the local Kashmiris.
Furthermore, New Delhi has always rejected mediation offers by foreign nations and leaders to resolve the Kashmir issue. The Minister of External Affairs S. Jaishankar has made it clear that “any discussion” on Kashmir will take place bilaterally and only with Pakistan. In a tweet, Jaishankar said, “Have conveyed to American counterpart Mike Pompeo, this morning in clear terms, that any discussion on Kashmir, if at all warranted, will only be with Pakistan and only bilaterally.” But the Pakistani PM is not of the same opinion. Khan told Fox News that India and Pakistan are poles apart. “Bilaterally, there will never be an end to the Kashmir conflict. I really feel that India should come to the table,” he said.
However, India has shied away from any talks or dialogue with Pakistan over the Kashmir issue. Ever since, Khan took up the prime ministership of Pakistan, he has made statements loud and clear that he wants to talks with the Indian leadership to resolve Kashmir but has been shunned and ridiculed in return.
Its only fair to say that “politics” gets in the way of resolving this contentious issue. If Kashmir is resolved, what will be left? The Kashmir conflict cannot be resolved overnight as it goes beyond the days of partition. Families of lost their loved ones in this conflict. Innocent blood has been shed, human rights has been violated. Kashmir is a deep wound. It needs the “right policy” and the “right leaders” in place to rightly communicate and settle the differences in a step-by-step initiative; somewhat like what the International Crisis Group had recommended. First steps to lower the tensions and establish closer and sustained links in less controversial areas.
Peace for Kashmir should be given a thought and not with mere words, the appropriate steps should be taken.