US President Donald Trump and Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan (File Photo)
United States President Donald Trump on Friday asked Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan to resolve the ongoing Kashmir tension with India bilaterally. Trump conveyed the importance of bilateral dialogue between India and Pakistan as Prime Minister Khan called the former to discuss the prevailing situation in Jammu and Kashmir. The telephonic conversation between took place ahead of the close-door-consultation of the 15 members of the UN Security Council in New York.
Shortly after the meeting at UNSC headquarters, the White House issued a statement with regard to the phone call, saying that Trump spoke with Khan to discuss regional developments and to follow up on latter's visit to Washington, DC, last month.
"The President conveyed the importance of India and Pakistan reducing tensions through bilateral dialogue regarding the situation in Jammu and Kashmir," the statement said quoting Deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley.
Apart from the Kashmir issue, the two leaders further discussed how they will continue to build on the growing relationship between the United States and Pakistan and the momentum created during their recent meeting at the White House, Gidley added.
The phone conversation between Trump and Khan comes hours after Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, in early Friday, said Prime Minister Khan took the US President "into confidence" regarding the UN Security Council meeting at the UN headquarters after the Indian government revoked the special status of Jammu and Kashmir.
"Prime Minister Khan conveyed Pakistan's concern on recent developments in Kashmir and the threat they pose to the regional peace," Qureshi was quoted as saying by state-run Radio Pakistan. The two leaders also agreed to remain in contact over the Kashmir issue and discussed the situation in Afghanistan, he stated.
Qureshi said Pakistan has contacted four of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and are "also trying to contact French President so that his country understands our position".
The UN Security Council on Friday held a rare closed-door meeting to discuss India revoking the special status of Jammu and Kashmir. The meeting was scheduled after Pakistan, backed by its all-weather ally, China, asked for "closed consultations" on the issue. The meeting was open only to the five permanent members and 10 non-permanent members of the UN Security Council.
On August 5, India revoked Article 370 of the Constitution removing the special status to Jammu and Kashmir, and also bifurcated the state into two Union Territories - Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh. Reacting to India's decision, Pakistan expelled the Indian High Commissioner soon after deciding to downgrade diplomatic ties with New Delhi.
Meanwhile, India has categorically told the international community that its move to scrap Article 370 of the Constitution revoking the special status to Jammu and Kashmir was an internal matter and has also advised Pakistan to accept the reality.
(With inputs from agencies)