Diplomacy

Trump Dials up Modi, Imran; Calls for Reducing Tensions

President Trump’s phone conversation with Narendra Modi was the first since the US leader claimed that India had sought mediation in the Kashmir dispute.

New Delhi: US President Donald Trump spoke to prime ministers of both India and Pakistan on Monday and urged them to reduce tensions that have been on the upsurge since New Delhi changed the special constitutional status of Jammu and Kashmir.

Trump had previously spoken with Imran Khan on August 16, just ahead of the closed-door ‘informal consultations’ of the UN Security Council on Kashmir. That had been the first time in nearly 50 years that the Council was discussing the ‘India-Pakistan question,’ even behind closed doors.

According to a White House read-out, Trump first called up Narendra Modi and subsequently spoke to Khan on Monday.

President Trump’s phone conversation with Modi was the first since the US leader claimed that India had sought mediation in the Kashmir dispute.

“The president conveyed the importance of reducing tensions between India and Pakistan and maintaining peace in the region,” said the statement issued in Washington.

The Indian ministry of external affairs’ read-out of the half-hour long call indicated that Modi had complained about the rising rhetoric from Islamabad.

Since August 11, Imran Khan has been posting on social media, linking India’s ruling party, the Bharatiya Janta Party and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh with Nazi Germany.

Also read: UNSC Discusses India-Pak Dispute for First Time Since 1971, No Statement Issued

On Sunday, Imran Khan claimed through his thread of tweets that India’s nuclear arsenal would not be safe in the hands of a “fascist, racist Hindu Supremacist Modi Govt”.

According to the MEA statement, Modi told Trump “that extreme rhetoric and incitement to anti-India violence by certain leaders in the region was not conducive to peace”.

“He (Prime Minister Modi) highlighted the importance of creating an environment free from terror and violence and eschewing cross-border terrorism without exception,” MEA added.

The White House’s statement on the Trump-Khan phone conversation was similar to the read-out of his conversation with Modi, with the addition of advice to scale down verbal posturing.

As per the statement, Trump spoke about the “the need to reduce tensions and moderate rhetoric with India over the situation in Jammu and Kashmir”.

Trump also called for restraint on both sides to avoid escalation of the situation.

The Pakistani foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said on Monday night that Khan told the US leader that a curfew was still clamped down and thousands of politicians detained in Kashmir.

Dawn reported that Khan called for visits of observers from human rights organisations to the Indian side of Kashmir.

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