Pak welcomes Trump’s offer to mediate on Kashmir
Pakistan on Thursday said it has welcomed an earlier offer of mediation by US president-elect Donald Trump to reduce Indo-Pak tensions as it expressed the desire to work closely with the new Trump administration.
Foreign Office (FO) spokesman Nafees Zakaria said this while responding to questions at the weekly news briefing here about Trump’s victory in the general elections. “The US president-elect had offered mediation between Pakistan and India on Kashmir dispute during his campaign and we had welcomed that offer,” he said, though reports had not mentioned Trump making a specific mention to Kashmir.
The 70-year-old real estate tycoon had last month described tensions between India and Pakistan as a “very, very hot tinderbox” and offered to be “the mediator or arbitrator” if it was necessary and if the two countries wanted him to, following which the Foreign Office had welcomed such an offer.
Radio Pakistan also quoted Zakaria as saying on Thursday that people of Kashmir had sacrificed their right to self-determination and that Pakistan is concerned over continued atrocities by Indian forces in Kashmir.
He said Pakistan will continue to raise Indian brutalities and human rights violations at international fora besides continuing to extend moral, political and diplomatic support to the just cause of Kashmiris.
The spokesman said Pakistan was looking forward to work closely with the new US administration for mutual benefits of both the countries.
Pakistan will continue the endeavour to promote and strengthen the existing relationship, he added. “Pakistan has multidimensional and strategic relationships with the US including economic, defence, Science and Technology, education, strategic issues, counter-terrorism and wants to strengthen them further,” he said.
Wants to mutually work on counter-terror
Pakistani foreign affairs adviser Sartaj Aziz says his country would like to work with US President-elect Donald Trump on the common interest of combatting terrorism. In an interview with Pakistan’s Geo News channel on Thursday, he said helping negotiate a political settlement in Afghanistan was another area where the two countries could work together.
The US president-elect has publicly criticised Pakistan in the past for battling some Islamic militant groups while tolerating others. Aziz acknowledged that perception, but said such policies were “in the past.”