The United States on Thursday said India’s decision on Article 370 for the state of Jammu and Kashmir is an internal matter but has regional implications and President Donald Trump expects to hear from Prime Minister Narendra Modi when they meet on the margins of the upcoming G-7 meetings what he plans to do to reduce regional tensions and uphold human rights in the state.
A senior administration official who briefed reporters on President Trump’s agenda for the summit Saturday also said the president is also calling for Pakistan to prevent cross-border infiltration across the LoC and stop groups bases on its soil that have attacked India in the past.
The official said the issue of India-Pakistan relations are expected to come up, and President Trump “will likely want to hear from Prime Minister Modi on how he plans to reduce regional tensions and uphold respect for human rights in Kashmir”.
India’s decision to rescind Article 370 in Kashmir is an “internal decision but certainly with regional implications”.
President Trump is also expected to “stress the need for dialogue among all sides of the conflict and lift restrictions currently in place in Kashmir.
On the American leader’s offer to mediate the Kashmir dispute, the official said the president is ready to “assist if both sides are interested in helping to reduce their tensions” and India and Pakistan wanted him to. The official also acknowledged, for the first time perhaps by a US official, that “India has not requested any formal mediation”.
At a press interaction with visiting Prime Minister Imran Khan in July, President Trump had first offered to mediate and has wrongly claimed even Prime Minister Narendra Modi wanted him to. India had both denied that claimed and dismissed the mediation offer saying the Kashmir dispute can only be resolved bilaterally by India and Pakistan and only after the later ceased supporting terrorism.
Trump has since made that mediation offer twice. But the senior official has now described it as an offer to “assist” and only if both countries wanted.
The two leaders will also discuss strategic ties, trade relation and count-terrorism and “look for solutions on the trade front”. The United States has been pressing India to lower tariff and open its markets. Trade is an ongoing discussion between the two countries and it had come up their last meeting as well, in Osaka, Japan on the margins of the G-20 summit.