United States President Donald Trump pushed for talks between New Delhi and Islamabad on the Kashmir issue during a phone conversation with Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday, the White House said.
The White House statement came amid fresh tensions between India and Pakistan, following the Narendra Modi government’s move to scrap the special status accorded to Jammu and Kashmir last Monday. The matter even reached the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), which held a closed-door meeting to discuss it earlier in the day.
Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi claimed that the two had a “cordial conversation”, and agreed to keep in touch over the Kashmir dispute. “Prime Minister Khan conveyed Pakistan’s concern on recent developments in Kashmir and the threat they pose to regional peace,” he was quoted as saying by state-run Radio Pakistan.
The two also reportedly discussed Afghanistan, where the United States is engaged in talks with the Taliban.
Shah Mehmood Qureshi later said in a press conference that Pakistan contacted four of the five permanent members of the UNSC to gain their support for its cause. Efforts were also made to contact the French President, he added.
The UNSC’s rare closed-door meeting was held on the request of China, a proclaimed ally of Pakistan. Discussions were open only to its five permanent members and 10 non-permanent members, and an appeal by Pakistan to allow the participation of a representative was rejected.
According to UN records, the Security Council had last discussed the dispute over Jammu and Kashmir in 1965.
On August 5, India revoked Jammu and Kashmir’s special status under Article 370 of the Constitution and bifurcated it into two union territories. Pakistan reacted by expelling the Indian High Commissioner and downgrading diplomatic ties with New Delhi. India, however, maintained that its move to scrap Jammu and Kashmir’s special status was an internal matter and advised Pakistan to “accept reality”.