Kashmiri leader welcomes Trump's offer to mediate Kashmir dispute

WASHINGTON: A prominent Kashmiri leader has welcomed US President Donald Trump’s offer to mediate the 71-year-old Kashmir dispute between India and Pakistan, saying such a move would bring peace and stability in South Asia. 

“The key to peace in Afghanistan lies in Kashmir — the U.S. will never stabilize the former without peace in the latter,” Ghulam Nabi Fai, Secretary-General of the Washington-based World Kashmir Awareness Forum, said in a statement following Trump’s offer to play a role in resolving the dispute over Kashmir where the people have been struggling to rid themselves of the India’s iron-fisted rule. 

The president made that statement at the White House where he welcomed the visiting Pakistan’s Prime Minister, Imran Khan, who encouraged the US leader to undertake the peace mission. 

“We believe that there cannot be a better person than President Trump himself to mediate between the parties concerned,” Dr. Fai said. 

“Without reservation, it can be said that the person who becomes instrumental in resolving the Kashmir dispute – the bone of contention between the two very potentially dangerous countries — deserves not only the Nobel Peace Prize, but also a special place in history” he said. 

“The resolution of the dispute will bring unparalleled honour to the one who help to achieve it. That honour could be yours, Mr. President. Your leadership in helping to settle the Kashmir dispute should not be seen to favor India or Pakistan but to advance the cause of freedom, democracy and human rights in the region of South Asia.” 

Fai added, “What is desperately needed is an affirmation by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Prime Minister Imran Khan of the necessity of taking new measures to effect the settlement of the dispute within a reasonable time frame. To that end, India and Pakistan must together prepare a plan for the demilitarization of the State with safeguards for security worked out together. 

“All parties need to understand that ultimately the Kashmir issue will only be resolved across the table through tripartite negotiations between India, Pakistan and the Kashmiri leadership. And if that is true, then why wait? Any delay will cause more death and destruction in the region.”