NEW DELHI: Days after he termed the situation in Jammu & Kashmir so explosive that it needs his ‘mediation’, US President Donald Trump on Monday climbed down to say Prime Minister Narendra Modi has the situation under control and the issue is something to be sorted out between New Delhi and Islamabad.
Experts see the development as a big diplomatic win for India against Pakistan’s bid for third-party intervention on Kashmir.
“We spoke last night about Kashmir, Prime Minister Modi really feels he has it under control. They speak with Pakistan and I’m sure that they will be able to do something that will be very good,” Trump told reporters on the sidelines the G7 summit in France. PM Modi reiterated India’s stand ruling out scope for third-party mediation on Kashmir.
“We don’t want to trouble any third country,” Modi said while interacting with the media alongside Trump.
Without directly referring to the Kashmir issue, Modi said, “There are many issues with Pakistan... We don’t bother other countries about these issues. We can find solutions through discussions.”
The Trump-Modi meeting came against the backdrop of the Indian government revoking special status to Jammu & Kashmir on August 5.
Tensions between India and Pakistan escalated after New Delhi abrogated provisions of Article 370 to withdraw J&K’s special status, evoking strong reactions from Pakistan.
Modi said India and Pakistan were together before 1947 and he was confident that the two neighbours can discuss their problems and solve them.
Former Ambassador and Deputy National Advisor Leela K Ponappa said, “By now we should not be surprised at changes in what Donald Trump says from time to time. The US govt policy had been articulated officially.”
According to Pinak Chakravarty, former secretary, MEA, Trump’s statement reinforces India’s stand on the Kashmir issue.
“Donald Trump has a habit of shooting from the hip. It all began with the visit of Imran Khan wherein Khan flattered him by saying you are the most powerful person on this earth and you can solve this festering problem and Trump was seduced into making that statement of offering mediation in the Kashmir matter,” Chakravarty added.