- Trump not to talk to Modi on Kashmir
US President Donald Trump will tell Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to settle the Kashmir issue with Pakistan, and not to go to war with it, but will not ask him to end the clampdown that India has slammed on Kashmir since August 5, when the Modi government announced that it was abrogating Indian Occupied Kashmir’s special status under Articles 35A and 370 of the Indian Constitution. The USA is not paying any attention to the sufferings of the people of Kashmir since then, which have been merely salt in the wound of the Indian refusal to give them the right of self-determination, and which includes a communications blackout and a curfew.
The USA has made it clear that President Trump will not ask Modi about these people when he meets him in Biarritz at the G7 Summit which begins on Saturday. It showed that the USA’s main concern is not the Kashmiri people, but the possibility of war between Inia and Pakistan. Such a war might become nuclear, and the USA does not want that to happen, and it would be appropriate for Pakistani policymakers to keep that in mind when they view relations with the USA. The USA may well need Pakistan’s help in the Afghan endgame, which would allow it an honourable exit from Afghanistan, but it does not see the post-abrogation situation as one that endangers its burgeoning relationship with India. In particular, due notice should be taken of the pride evidenced by President Trump in the closeness of his relationship with Mr Modi as well as Pakistan’s Prime Minister, Imran Khan.
Does President Trump feel that, no matter what India does, he will be able to make Mr Khan fall in? It does seem as if India is succeeding in returning the Valley to normalcy, and is following a policy of a piecemeal lifting of restrictions. It has imposed so many, that removing a few seems a step forward. The restoration of land lines in some areas has not meant an end to curfew which will have to be lifted eventually, to an explosion of rage the Indian government fears.