Last Update 9:52
Tuesday, 19 November 2019

Pakistan calls for Trump mediation on Kashmir as region remains tense

Reuters , Sunday 4 Aug 2019
Share/Bookmark
Views: 1113
Share/Bookmark
Views: 1113

Tensions between India and Pakistan over Kashmir have the potential to blow up into a regional crisis and it is the right time for U.S. President Donald Trump to mediate, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Sunday.

Khan's comments come a day after Pakistan accused India of using illegal cluster bombs, killing two civilians and wounding 11, in the disputed Kashmir region. India denied it had used such weapons.

"President Trump offered to mediate on Kashmir. This is the time to do so as situation deteriorates there and along the LOC (line of control) with new aggressive actions being taken by Indian occupation forces," Khan said on Twitter, referring to the heavily militarised de facto border that divides the two parts of Kashmir between India and Pakistan.

"This has the potential to blow up into a regional crisis," Khan said.

India's foreign affairs ministry and the White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Khan's remarks.

In July, Trump told reporters that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had asked him during a meeting in Japan if he would like to be a mediator on Kashmir. India denied Modi ever asked for any mediation.

India has long rejected any suggestion of third-party involvement in tackling Kashmir and, reacting to Trump's offer last month, said it would deal with Pakistan only bilaterally.

Trump last week reiterated his offer, saying he would intervene if asked, and "it's really up to Prime Minister Modi".

Muslim-majority Kashmir, claimed by both India and Pakistan, has long been a bone of contention between the two. Tensions flared after a vehicle laden with explosives rammed into an Indian police convoy on Feb. 14, killing 40 paramilitary police, and leading to aerial clashes between the two nations.

India accuses Pakistan of funding armed militants, as well as separatist groups in India's portion of the region. Islamabad denies the Indian accusation, saying it provides only diplomatic and moral support to a separatist movement.

KASHMIR TENSE

Tensions have escalated particularly since Friday, when local Indian officials in Kashmir issued an alert over possible militant attacks by Pakistan-based groups. Pakistan has rejected those assertions, but thousands of Indian tourists, pilgrims and workers left the region in panic.

Pakistan on Saturday also rejected India's claims that it had killed at least five Pakistan-based militants who tried to attack its forces near the border.

On Sunday, Kashmir remained on high alert with Indian para-military forces deployed across major towns. One senior local official said a curfew was likely next week.

However, the city police chief in Srinagar, the state's main city, told Reuters he had no knowledge of a curfew.

Hospitals were on alert, with staff told not to leave the city without permission, officials said.

The local government said on Friday it had intelligence about militant attacks and called off a major Hindu pilgrimage, asking pilgrims and tourists to return home.

Kashmir touts itself as a "Paradise on Earth", with its Dal Lake, famous houseboats and mountains among major attractions.

Britain and Germany have in advisories discouraged their citizens from visiting, but around 160 foreign tourists arrived on Saturday, one official said. Some were not worried.

"Why should we be scared? It is a nice place and people are very helpful," said Molly, a Swiss tourist.

Nevertheless, tourism is bound to suffer as tensions rise.

"All of a sudden tourists left ... I have no work for the last two days. We are up for bad times," said Abdul Rashid Shah, 53, a boatman at the Dal Lake. 

Short link:

 

Email
 
Name
 
Comment's
Title
 
Comment
Ahram Online welcomes readers' comments on all issues covered by the site, along with any criticisms and/or corrections. Readers are asked to limit their feedback to a maximum of 1000 characters (roughly 200 words). All comments/criticisms will, however, be subject to the following code
  • We will not publish comments which contain rude or abusive language, libelous statements, slander and personal attacks against any person/s.
  • We will not publish comments which contain racist remarks or any kind of racial or religious incitement against any group of people, in Egypt or outside it.
  • We welcome criticism of our reports and articles but we will not publish personal attacks, slander or fabrications directed against our reporters and contributing writers.
  • We reserve the right to correct, when at all possible, obvious errors in spelling and grammar. However, due to time and staffing constraints such corrections will not be made across the board or on a regular basis.
Latest

© 2010 Ahram Online.