Pakistan says time right for Trump mediation on Kashmir
August 4, 2019 06:45 PM NPT
ISLAMABAD/SRINAGAR, August 4: Tensions between India and Pakistan over Kashmir have the potential to blow up into a regional crisis and it is the right time for U.S. President Donald Trump to mediate, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Sunday. Khan’s comments come a day after Pakistan accused India of using illegal cluster bombs, killing two civilians and wounding 11, in the disputed Kashmir region. India denied it had used such weapons.
“President Trump offered to mediate on Kashmir. This is the time to do so as situation deteriorates there and along the LOC (line of control) with new aggressive actions being taken by Indian occupation forces,” Khan said on Twitter, referring to the heavily militarised de facto border that divides the two parts of Kashmir between India and Pakistan.
“This has the potential to blow up into a regional crisis,” Khan said.
Kashmir, claimed by both India and mostly Muslim Pakistan, has long been a flashpoint between the two countries.
India accuses Pakistan of funding armed militants, as well as separatist groups in India’s portion of the region. Islamabad denies the Indian accusation, saying it provides only diplomatic and moral support to a separatist movement.
In July, Trump told reporters that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had asked him during a meeting in Japan if he would like to be a mediator on Kashmir. India denied that Modi ever asked for any mediation.
Tensions have been high in the Kashmir region since Friday when the local Kashmir government issued an alert over possible militant attacks by Pakistan-based groups.
Pakistan has rejected those assertions, but thousands of Indian tourists, pilgrims and workers have left the region in panic.
India on Saturday said it had killed at least five Pakistan-based militants who tried to attack its forces, an allegation Pakistan denied.