‘Trump offered mediation as US wants improved Indo-Pak relations’

‘Trump offered mediation as US wants improved Indo-Pak relations’

President Donald Trump offered his "assistance" to resolve the Kashmir issue as the US wants to see improved relations between Pakistan and India, a senior State Department official said Thursday.

The official, on the condition of anonymity, was respondingto a question on the position of the US on the Kashmir issue after Trump lastweek offered to be the "mediator" between India and Pakistan on theissue during his meeting with Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan at the White House.

India firmly rejected Trump's offer, saying that New Delhi'sconsistent position has been that all outstanding issues with Pakistan arediscussed only bilaterally.

"On Kashmir as I said, we would all like to seeimproved relations between India and Pakistan. That's why you heard thepresident's offer of assistance," the official said.

"We recognise that Kashmir has been a bilateral issue butthere are opportunities as Pakistan takes steps that build confidence in itsown efforts to counter terrorism for their ultimately towards a constructivedialogue. We stand ready to assist if asked by the parties to do so," theofficial said.

The official said the US welcomes Khan's stated commitmentthat Pakistan for its own future will prevent the operation of all terror groupson its territory.

Pakistan Prime Minister's visit to the US, the officialsaid, was a chance for Khan to discuss how his government will bring his visionfor both sides to confer on how the US can support Pakistan in thisendeavour. 

"Of the US ability to encourage a constructive dialoguebetween India and Pakistan, whether on Kashmir or other bilateral issues willbe a function of Pakistan taking sustained and irreversible steps againstmilitants on its territory," the official said. 

"We support Pakistan's national action plan formed byall political parties after the horrific Peshawar school attack as well asPrime Minister Khan's personal commitment that no militant groups should beable to operate from Pakistani soil," the official said."Obviously it's in everyone's interest tosee improvement of relations between India and Pakistan. And the president'soffer was made in recognition of that fact," the official said.

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