Pakistan Welcomes Trump’s Mediation Role in Deadly Kashmir Dispute

Kashmiri protesters smash windshields of private cars for ignoring separatist-sponsored strike during the funeral of Qaiser Sofi in Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir, Saturday, Nov. 5, 2016. Police in Indian-controlled Kashmir say at least 30 people were injured after government forces fired shotgun pellets and tear gas as a funeral procession …
AP Photo/Dar Yasin

Pakistan has said it would welcome U.S. President-elect Donald Trump’s mediation in the ongoing deadly dispute between Islamabad and New Delhi over the Muslim-majority region of Kashmir, reveals the Pakistani Foreign Office (FO).

Nafees Zakaria, a spokesman for FO, told reporters that Trump has offered to play a role of mediator as tensions worsen between the two nuclear-armed nations on account of Kashmir, according to DAWN.

Referring to the telephone conversation between Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Trump, Zakaria described the PM’s call to the president-elect as a courtesy call.

Zakaria welcomed Trump to visit Pakistan despite the current strained relationship between Islamabad and Washington.

The request for Trump’s mediation comes about two weeks after the Pakistani military warned India that the conflict in Kashmir could break out into a full-scale war.

Despite the deteriorating security conditions in Kashmir, Russian United Nations Ambassador Vitaly Churkin, president of the UN Security Council (UNSC) for the month of October, decided to ignore the intensifying tensions between India and its regional rival Pakistan.

UN Amb. Maleeha Lodhi has reportedly urged the international body to take action to ease tensions before the ongoing clashes between the two nuclear-armed nations, India and Pakistan, evolve into a “full-fledged crisis.”

The ongoing military confrontations between the two neighbors are taking place along the Line of Control (LoC), a heavily militarized and mountainous frontier that divides the sections of Kashmir controlled by India and Pakistan.

Pakistan has urged the UN to deploy peacekeeping troops to Kashmir “to effectively monitor the LoC and the working boundary as a step to help ease the tension,” notes the Press Trust of India (PTI).

America’s relationship with Pakistan, which the Pentagon has accused of serving as a safe haven for terrorists fighting U.S.-backed troops in Afghanistan, has deteriorated in recent years.

As mandated by recently enacted legislation, the U.S. has stopped more than $300 million in military reimbursements to Pakistan for refusing to take adequate action against the Haqqani Network, a terrorist group linked to al-Qaeda and its ally the Taliban.

Nevertheless, Zakaria, from Pakistan’s Foreign Office, told reporters that his country would welcome a visit from Trump.

“We value our ties with the US and wish for them to progress,” said the FO spokesman.

India, Afghanistan, and the United States have accused Pakistan of harboring terrorism. Both India and the United States are providing military assistance to Afghanistan.

China, Pakistan, and India all have competing claims to Kashmir, but Beijing has stayed in the shadows of the dispute over the Himalayan region between the other two countries.

Nevertheless, China is considered to be closer to Pakistan. The Pakistan-held region of Kashmir borders the autonomous region of Xinjiang, home to China’s largest concentration of the Muslim Uighur minority in the country.

China is also providing military assistance to Afghanistan, which borders Xinjiang.

Clashes between India and Pakistan have been raging since July when Indian troops killed Burhan Wani, commander of the Kashmir-based terrorist group Hizb-ul-Mujahideen.

Tensions intensified further in September after India accused Pakistan of helping militants carry out an attack on Indian-held Kashmir that killed at least 18 Indian soldiers.

In retaliation, India attacked Pakistan-controlled Kashmir with “surgical strikes,” reportedly killing 38 terrorists.