US President Donald Trump said Tuesday that Washington was willing to resolve tensions between India and Pakistan, as the two leaders met on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos.
The two leaders were interacting with the press when Trump said regarding India-Pakistan tensions that the US was “watching very closely” and Washington was willing to resolve issues between the two countries.
Trump referred to Prime Minister Imran as his “friend” and said that it was an honour to meet him again. “We will have a very good talk,” said the American president.
About Washington’s relations with Islamabad, Trump said “We [US] have never been closer to Pakistan”, saying that it was due to his relationship with the prime minister which had been instrumental in bringing the two countries together.
When a reporter asked Trump whether he would visit Pakistan after his tour of India ended, the US president said evasively that he was meeting Prime Minister Imran here.
When it was his turn to speak, PM Imran told the press that the most important topic that was discussed between the two leaders was the Afghanistan reconciliation issue. The prime minister said that the US and Pakistan were on the same page as far as talks between the Taliban and the Afghan government were concerned.
He said Pakistan’s issue with India was an important one as well.”We hope the US will play its part in resolving [tensions] because no other country can,” said Prime Minister Imran. He said that Pakistan was willing to play its part in promoting peace and stability in the region.
The American president will visit India later this month. This will be his first tour of the country after becoming president. The last time Trump met Prime Minister Imran in 2019, he kicked up a frenzy in India when the US president said he would “mediate” to solve the issue of occupied Kashmir.
Tensions between India and Pakistan have been on the rise over the past couple of years. The two countries almost went to war in February last year when Indian fighter planes bombed Balakot. India had blamed Pakistan for the Pulwama attack, in which 40 Indian soldiers were killed. Islamabad had denied involvement.
Pakistan responded on February 27 by downing two Indian jets and capturing IAF pilot Abhinandan Varthaman. The pilot was released after being held captive for two days after Prime Minister Imran announced that it was a “gesture of peace” towards India.
On August 5, 2019, India revoked Article 370 of its constitution which gave special recognition to occupied Kashmir. The move sparked anger in Pakistan with Islamabad cutting off diplomatic ties with India.
Pakistan has repeatedly warned the international community that India plans to conduct a false flag operation and on its behest, attack Azad Kashmir. PM Imran tweeted a few weeks ago that if India carries out any misadventure in Azad Kashmir, Pakistan will have no choice but to respond.