US President Donald Trump has made at least four mediation offers on the Kashmir issue between India and Pakistan in the last two months. However, he has not impressed India much. Prime Minister Narendra has rejected all such proposals, saying that he would “not like to bother any country” over the Kashmir issue. Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan, on the other hand, has been explicitly vocal about US mediation, preferably by Donald Trump over Kashmir.
But, he might have been mediating already, between PM Modi and Imran Khan, though not particularly on the Kashmir issue. The latest remark from Trump suggests that he expects a meeting between Imran Khan and Narendra Modi.
This is what he said on September 24: “I really believe that Prime Minister Modi and Prime Minister Khan will get along when they get to know each other. I think a lot of good things will come from that meeting.” (Emphasis added)
This clearly reflects that he sees the possibility of a meeting between Modi and Khan – something that Trump has been batting for for a while. This possibility gives him a foothold in India-Pak talks on all issues including Kashmir.
The post-Pulwama aerial dogfight between India and Pakistan brought Donald Trump in the picture when India shot down Pakistan’s F-16 fighter jet but also lost its MiG-21 Bison. IAF pilot Abhinandan Varthaman ejected safely but landed in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.
At the time, Trump was busy in summit talks with Kim Jong-un, the North Korean leader. Post the meet, he announced the US has been involved in trying to help India & Pakistan end the hostility and it has some reasonably decent news… Within hours, Khan released Abhinandan unconditionally
Now, Donald Trump has expressed confidence that PM Narendra Modi and Imran Khan will get along and many good things will come from a meeting between them. This is a clear signal that Donald Trump is already mediating between PM Modi and Imran Khan.