NEW DELHI: US President-elect Donald Trump’s close aide believes that his boss can deploy his “cooperation skills” to resolve the decades-long Kahsmir dispute between India and Pakistan.
The conflict between the South Asian neighbouring countries over Kashmir has been one of the constants in the region for decades.
In an interview on “Meet the Press” Sunday, Vice President-elect Mike Pence appeared to suggest that Kashmir is among the spots where Trump can deploy his “cooperation skills to bear on lessening tensions and solving problems in the world.”
Pakistanis worry that Trump may favour India
But the tensions over Kashmir — elevated recently with a serious of cross-border attacks — remains one of the region’s most intractable problems.
When asked by the programme host Chuck Todd, Pence responded: “Well, clearly there’s been great tension between India and Pakistan in recent days. It’s resulted in violence along the Kashmir region. And I think what the president-elect expressed in conversations with leaders on both countries was a desire for continued US engagement on building the relationship with both of those countries. These are two nuclear powers.
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He added that: “the president-elect recognises the issue. And making sure that, that they know that when this administration takes office, that we intend to be fully engaged in the region and fully engaged with both nations to advance peace and security.
Tensions in Kashmir reached dangerous levels in September this year, after India blamed Pakistani militants for a raid on an army base that killed 19 soldiers.
India said it had responded by carrying out “surgical strikes” across the heavily militarised border, sparking fury from Islamabad, which denied they took place. India, however, failed to produce proofs demanded by their Opposition to counter-check the version of ‘surgical strikes”.