Sunday, 15 September 2019

Trump stresses need to reduce India-Pakistan ‘tensions’

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WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump spoke with Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan and India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi, urging a reduction of tensions between the nuclear-armed neighbours over the disputed Kashmir region.

“The president conveyed the importance of reducing tensions between India and Pakistan and maintaining peace in the region,” White House spokesman Hogan Gidley said in a statement.

Trump also talked to Prime Minister Imran Khan, their second conversation in three days on the situation in Kashmir.

“Prime Minister Khan expressed serious concern over a humanitarian crisis triggered in [occupied] Kashmir and hoped [the] US would play its role in resolving the crisis,” Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi told a televised press conference in Islamabad.

“Khan asked President Trump to talk to Indian Prime Minister Modi” about ways to lower tensions between the two countries, Qureshi said.

“We want a UN observer mission to be dispatched forthwith to Indian-administered Kashmir” and for the curfew there to be “lifted immediately,” he said.

Hailing PM Imran, the foreign minister said he was proud of the fact the way the premier had presented the case of Pakistan to President Trump.

Qureshi told the media that earlier, both the leaders spoke by telephone on August 16 where PM Imran presented Pakistan’s stance to the US president to which, Trump assured the premier that he would talk to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“President Trump said peace of the region should be maintained and he told PM Imran about it,” Qureshi said.

He said that PM Imran apprised President Trump about the situation arising in the region after Modi’s August 5 step.

Quoting PM Imran, the foreign minister observed that the unilateral move of the Indian premier had threatened peace in the region.

He said that the premier further told the US President that India wanted to change the demography in AJK so that Muslim majority in the held valley could be turned into a minority.

The premier told the US President that the unilateral step taken by India was in contravention of the international laws and UN resolution.

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