US President Donald Trump said on Monday that he would meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan soon. He maintained that tension between India and Pakistan had reduced.
While President Trump will address Indian-Americans along with PM Modi at the “Howdy Modi!” event in Houston on Sunday, the American president did not say when or where he would meet Imran Khan.
“I’ll see Prime Minister Modi and I will – we’ll – be meeting with (prime ministers of) India and Pakistan and I think a lot of progress has been made there…lot of progress,” President Trump told reporters in response to a question at the White House, without mentioning Kashmir.
Trump’s schedule suggests that his meeting with Imran Khan may take place on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly Session in New York later this month.
After addressing a record crowd of more than 50,000 Indian-Americans at the “Howdy Modi!” event, Trump will travel to Ohio and then is expected to fly to New York to attend the Annual General Assembly Sessions of the United Nations.
Tension between India and Pakistan escalated after New Delhi ended special status to Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 on August 5. Reacting to India’s move on Kashmir, Pakistan downgraded diplomatic ties with India.
Pakistan has tried to internationalise the Kashmir issue but India has asserted that the decision on Article 370 was its internal matter. New Delhi has also told Islamabad to accept the reality and stop its anti-India rhetoric.
The “Howdy, Modi!” event will be the first time that an American president addresses thousands of Indian-Americans at one place in the US.
It comes ahead of the 2020 presidential elections in the US where the influential Indian-American community members are expected to play a significant role. President Trump, a Republican, has already announced his candidature.
India’s Ambassador to the US Harsh Vardhan Shringla has called Trump’s participation in the “Howdy, Modi!” event “historic” and “unprecedented”