Donald Trump backtracks on India-Pakistan bilateralism

It is heartening that US President Donald Trump has backtracked on his offer to mediate on Kashmir and endorsed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s position that it is a bilateral issue between India and Pakistan and needs to be sorted out between them.

This is as much a victory for Modi’s clear enunciation of India’s stand as a setback for Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan who had been nurturing dreams of US intervention to browbeat India on the negotiation table.

That Trump’s version that Modi had wanted him to be a mediator on the issue was vehemently denied by Modi set the record straight appropriately and before it was too late.

It is a tribute to Modi and the external affairs officials that the Indian stand on Jammu and Kashmir is treated with due respect the world over. It surely has a lot to do with India’s growing stature in the comity of nations and the enhanced economic clout that this country enjoys internationally.

Trump has a tendency to shoot his mouth off and with his bid for re-election not too far away, he realises that any confrontation with India could only queer the pitch for him.

It is to be hoped that he would not put his foot in his mouth again in the foreseeable future as the proverbial saying goes. Imran Khan too has lessons to learn from Trump’s experience.

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