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Posted at: Aug 20, 2019, 8:22 AM; last updated: Aug 20, 2019, 9:13 PM (IST)

‘Tough’ situation, says Trump after phone calls with Modi, Imran Khan

‘Tough’ situation, says Trump after phone calls with Modi, Imran Khan
Donald Trump. Reuters file

Washington, August 20

US President Donald Trump urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Pakistan PM Imran Khan to work towards reducing tension in the region over Kashmir, describing the situation as “tough”.

Trump asked Khan over phone on Monday to “moderate rhetoric” with India, soon after a 30-minute conversation with Modi, during which the Indian leader raised the issue of “extreme rhetoric and incitement to anti-India violence” by leaders of Pakistan.

“Spoke to my two good friends, Prime Minister Modi of India, and Prime Minister Khan of Pakistan, regarding Trade, Strategic Partnerships and, most importantly, for India and Pakistan to work towards reducing tensions in Kashmir,” the US President said in a tweet.

“A tough situation, but good conversations!” he said.

Earlier this month, India abrogated provisions of Article 370 of the Constitution to withdraw Jammu and Kashmir’s special status and bifurcated the state into Union Territories, evoking strong reactions from Pakistan. 

Continuing with his tirade against India over the Kashmir issue, Khan had on Sunday called the Indian government “fascist” and “supremacist”, alleging that it posed a threat to Pakistan as well as to the minorities in India.

Welcoming Trump’s call to Modi and Khan, New York-based Indian-American attorney Ravi Batra said the US President, speaking for all Americans, essentially told “our dear friends” in the subcontinent to live terror-free, be good neighbours and give their citizens a better tomorrow with law and order.

In a tweet, Batra urged Modi to invite Imran Khan for “bilateral tea” in Kashmir. “Like Abraham Lincoln, India has clamped down to prevent terror and establish law and order. Time to invite,” he said.

Strongly defending Modi’s move on Jammu and Kashmir, Japanese scholar Satoru Nagao, who is currently a visiting fellow at the Hudson Institute think-tank, said India needed to fortify Kashmir before the US withdrew from Afghanistan and Islamic radicals came to Kashmir.

“After the US intervention in Afghanistan, the number of terrorist activities in J&K has decreased. Now, if the US withdraw from Afghanistan, India needs to prepare. At the same time, to fortify Ladakh, separate and direct control will be effective measure to defend borders against China,” Nagao said. PTI

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