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Thursday, May 23, 2024

Trump Reiterates Offer to Mediate on Kashmir: Analysts Question Washington’s Sincerity

US President Donald Trump has reiterated his offer to mediate on the issue of Kashmir, but his presence at Modi’s rally in Houston legitimizes the barbaric actions of New Delhi in occupied Kashmir. Analysts remain dubious over the sincerity of this offer from Washington

US President Donald Trump, in his joint press briefing with Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday, once again, reiterated his offer to act as an arbitrator or mediator to resolve the escalating tensions between the two nuclear-armed South Asian rivals over the long-standing disputed of Jammu and Kashmir.

The Indian occupied valley of Kashmir has been under curfew and an unprecedented communications blackout for over fifty years, and despite acknowledging the need to establish peace in the disputed Himalayan territory, Donald Trump was also present in the “Howdy Modi!” rally organized by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The US President claimed that he is an “extremely good arbitrator” and if there is assent from both sides, he can resolve the dispute in an effective manner.

Analysts and opinion makers across the globe are dubious about the sincerity in Trump’s offer to mediate the dispute and resolve the Kashmir issue, given that his presence at Modi’s rally in Houston was an act that legitimized BJP’s barbaric actions in occupied Kashmir.

Trump’s Offer for Mediation Stands

Responding to a question on the status of his offer for mediation, US President Donald Trump said that his offer still stands, but in order to successfully mediate the issue, the request must come from both, India and Pakistan.

He said, “It would always stand.  If I can help, I would certainly do that.  And it will be dependent on both of these gentlemen.  One without the other doesn’t work, if you’re going to do mediation or if you’re going to do arbitration.”

Trump added, “But certainly, I would be willing to help if both wanted. If both Pakistan, let’s say, and India wanted me to do that, I am ready, willing, and able. It’s a complex issue. It’s been going on for a long time. But if both wanted it, I would be ready to do it.”

Trump maintained that it is important to have two parties that want to agree to US mediation. He said, “I have a very good relationship with Prime Minister Modi. I have a very good relationship with Prime Minister Khan.”

“And if at any time they say, “You know, we have some points that we think we can maybe iron out.”

Read more: “Howdy Modi!” Rally: Kashmir and Khalistan fighting for Freedom

The US President claimed that he is an “extremely good arbitrator” and if there is assent from both sides, he can resolve the dispute in an effective manner. Trump said, “I think I’d be an extremely good arbitrator. I’ve done it before, believe it or not, and I’ve never failed as an arbitrator. I’ve been asked to arbitrate disputes — pretty big ones — from friends. And I’ve done it in a good, successful fashion.”

“If I can be of help — you know that — if I can be of help, let me know. But you’d have to have the assent also from the other side.”

Human Rights Situation in Kashmir

Responding to a question regarding his concerns over the human rights situation in occupied Kashmir, the US President said that he wants “everybody to be treated well.”

Donald Trump said, “Sure. I’d like to see everything work out. I want it to be humane. I want everybody to be treated well. You have two big countries, and they’re warring countries and they’ve been fighting.”

Highlighting his concerns over an aggressive statement made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the “Howdy Modi!” rally in Houston, Trump said, “And — I mean, I heard a very aggressive statement yesterday. I don’t have to say that. I was there. I didn’t know I was going to hear that statement, I had said.”

“But I was sitting there and I heard a very aggressive statement yesterday from India, from the Prime Minister, and I will say it was very well received within the rule — you know, within in the room. The statement itself. That was a big room; there were 59,000 people.”

The US President added, “But it was a very aggressive statement, and I hope that they’re going to be able to come together — India and Pakistan — and do something that’s really smart and good for both. And I’m sure there could be — there’s always a solution.  And I really believe there’s a solution for that.”

Sincerity in Trump’s Offer?

Jan Achakzai, notable geopolitical analyst, observed Trump’s reiteration of his offer for mediation has frustrated Modi and New Delhi, and India has failed to stop the US from not repeating its offer and mentioning Kashmir.

Achakzai said, “To the frustration of Modi’s India, Trump again mentions K-word and repeats his narrative: mediation offer.”

The Baloch analyst continued, “India fails to prevail on the US not to repeat (offer for mediation). Such statements of Trump negates India’s “IOK as internal matter mantra”; raise the profile of dispute as of concern; & hyphenates.”

Shedding light on US President Donald Trump’s reiteration of his offer for mediation on the issue of Kashmir, shortly after his joint-rally with Narendra Modi, Michael Kugelman, Deputy Director of the Asia Program, said that these developments do not come as a surprise.

Kugelman observed, “Trump has made quite clear that he wants good relations with both Modi and Khan. He has clearly hit it off well with both leaders, and personal chemistry is important for him. So naturally, he’ll want to be sympathetic to Khan’s and Pak concerns, and appear to be supportive.”

He added, “Trump is also quite happy saying whatever the person next to him wants to hear. Call it flattery or what you will, but we have seen this time and time again. And of course, what he says doesn’t always reflect actual U.S. policy. Though often it does.”

Michael Kugelman concluded his analysis, “Bottom line: Yesterday’s Houston extravaganza solidified the chemistry between Trump and Modi and delivered a big boost to US-India ties. But no matter how grand it may have been, it won’t alter Trump’s thinking on Pakistan (and especially given the Afghanistan question).”

The Deputy Director of the Asia Program highlighted that Washington continues to “emphasize New Delhi over Islamabad.”

Kugelman said, “One caveat: Despite Trump’s two-step on India and Pakistan, this much is true: US policy, broadly speaking, continues to emphasize New Delhi over Islamabad. The US Indo Pacific strategy confirms that preference. And I can’t imagine the calculus on this changing anytime soon.”