India vs Pakistan: Trump urged to stop nuclear disaster – ‘We’re eyeball to eyeball’

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US PRESIDENT Donald Trump has been urged by Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Quereshi to step in to defuse escalating tensions between his country and India over the disputed region of Kashmir with the two nuclear powers currently “eyeball to eyeball”.

By Ciaran McGrath

PUBLISHED: 08:48, Sat, Sep 28, 2019 | UPDATED: 14:56, Sat, Sep 28, 2019

And, responding to Mr Trump’s remark that he hoped the two countries could “come together” to work out a solution, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan likewise urged the President himself to get involved directly instead. Questioned about the possibility of India and Pakistan finding a way of settling their differences among themselves, Mr Quereshi told Newsweek: “I think we’ve come to the conclusion after one year of continuously trying that it is pointless. “After these actions I do not see any bilateral movement, the only way this issue can be resolved is through third-party facilitation.

“President Trump can play a role, he has a lot of influence over them and the Security Council, which is responsible for peace and security, can play a role.”

“What India has done by this unilateral, illegal action of their’s is they have threatened the peace and security of the region.

“After these actions I do not see any bilateral movement, the only way this issue can be resolved is through third-party facilitation.

“President Trump can play a role, he has a lot of influence over them and the Security Council, which is responsible for peace and security, can play a role.”

Two nuclear-armed states face-to-face, eyeball-to-eyeball that’s a very dangerous situation

Shah Mahmood Quereshi

“What India has done by this unilateral, illegal action of their’s is they have threatened the peace and security of the region.

“Two nuclear-armed states face-to-face, eyeball-to-eyeball that’s a very dangerous situation.”

Relations between the two neighbours and traditional rivals have been deteriorating steadily this year, ever since a terror attack by militants in the disputed Kashmir region left 44 Indian paramilitary police dead.

In response, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi order an air strike on a camp run by militant organisation Jaish-e-Mohammed which New Dehli claimed killed 300 people, although Islamabad denied this.

Days later Pakistan shot down shot down two Indian jets, parading captured pilot Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman on television before handing him back to the Indian authorities “as a goodwill gesture”.

More recently, Mr Modi upped the stakes by revoking Article 370,  the section of the Indian constitution which guarantees special status to Kashmir and neighbouring Jammu, with Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan calling it a “historic blunder”.

Speaking on Monday, Mr Trump said he hoped India and Pakistan could come together to resolve their differences over Kashmir.

However, Mr Khan said he would like the United States to use its influence to help.

Mr Trump and Mr Khan met on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly. Mr Trump met Mr Modi later in the week.

The president reiterated to Mr Khan as they began their meeting with reporters present that he would be willing to mediate between India and Pakistan over Kashmir.

Muslim-majority Kashmir has long been a flashpoint between nuclear-armed India and Pakistan.

Both countries rule parts of Kashmir while claiming it in full. Two of the three wars they have fought have been over it.

Both India and Pakistan have nuclear weapons (Image: Daily Express)

Speaking in March after the shooting down of the two jets, Joshua Pollack, the editor of the Nonproliferation Review and a senior research associate with the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, told Express.co.uk: “There has been an entire series of these crises going back to about 2001.

“Usually, the White House, State Department, and Pentagon scramble to urge restraint on the parties.

Not this time, as far as anyone can tell; they had to figure out how to extricate themselves from this mess.

“That may bode poorly for the future, at least if the US doesn’t make a concerted effort to rebuild its diplomatic position.

“But even before the gutting of American diplomacy under Trump, the US relationship with Pakistan in particular entered one of its periodic declines. That’s a serious complication.

“Over the long terms, it’s not clear that there will be any external checks on the escalation of a crisis. Restraint must come from within.”

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