US President Donald Trump on Monday offered to be the "mediator" between India and Pakistan on the Kashmir issue as he met Prime Minister Imran Khan at the White House where the two leaders discussed a host of issues.
India maintains that the Kashmir issue is a bilateral oneand no third party has any role in it. "If I can help, I would love to bea mediator. If I can do anything to help, let me know," Trump said inresponse to a question during his meeting with Prime Minister Khan in the OvalOffice.
Trump said that he is ready to help, if the two countriesask for it.
India has not been engaging with Pakistan since an attack onthe Air Force base at Pathankot in January of 2016 carried out by aPakistan-based militant group .
"I think they (Indians) would like to see it resolved.I think you (Khan) would like to see it resolved. And if I can help, I wouldlove to be a mediator. It should be….We have two incredible countries thatare very, very smart with very smart leadership, (and they) can't solve aproblem like that. But if you would want me to mediate or arbitrate, I would bewilling to do that," Trump said.
"We have a very good relationship with India. I knowthat your relationship (with India) is strained a little bit, maybe a lot. Butwe will be talking about India… (it's) a big part of our conversation today andI think maybe we can help intercede and do whatever we have to do. It's somethingthat can be brought back together. We will be talking about India andAfghanistan both," Trump told Khan.
Trump, while addressing a press conference along with Khansaid, "I was with Prime Minister Modi two weeks ago, and talking of thesubject, and he said 'would you like to be a mediator?', and I asked where, andhe said Kashmir'. I said if I could mediate, I will help.. I would love to helpon Kashmir," adding it is a "terrible situation in Kashmir.. bombsgoing off all the time".
Before Trump answered, Imran Khan said: "I will beasking President Trump (about Kashmir), the US can play the most important rolein bringing peace in the subcontinent, which is held hostage to the issue ofKashmir. The most powerful state, the US, can solve the problem," he said,adding that he had made overtures for dialogue with India" but to noavail.
Trump added later, "Maybe I will speak to him (Modi),or maybe you can speak with him."
Khan, who was sitting by Trump's side in the Oval Office ofthe White House, said that he is ready and welcomed such a move by the US."Right now, you would have the prayers of over a billion people if you canmediate (on Kashmir)," Khan told Trump.
Khan was accompanied by Army chief General Qamar JavedBajwa, Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) chief Lt Gen Faiz Hameed and ForeignMinister Shah Mehmood Qureshi among others.