Concerned Trump seeking a role in India Pakistan talks: US envoy


SRINAGAR: In a new twist to the American role in south Asia region, a senior Trump administration diplomat said the American President could intervene to prevent escalations between India and Pakistan. The diplomat said that Washington cannot wait “till something happens”.

“It’s absolutely right that this administration is concerned about the relationship between India and Pakistan and very much wants to see how we de-escalate any sort of conflict going forward,” Nikki Haley, US Ambassador to the United Nations was quoted saying. “We don’t think, we should wait till something happens.”

Haley was talking to reporters in a press conference after assuming the role of President of the Security Council for the month of April.

“We very much think that we should be proactive in the way that we are seeing tensions rise and conflicts start to bubble up and so we want to see if we can be a part of that,” Haley was quoted saying. “So I think that will be something that you will see members of the National Security Council participate in, but also wouldn’t be surprised if the President participates in that as well.”

Haley’s statement marks a clear departure from the stated official American policy that they will encourage the two countries to talk but will avoid intervening in talks. She has insisted that the Trump administration will be in talks and will attempt to “find its place to be a part of that (de-escalating tensions).”

Though Pakistan has been quite vocal in seeking a third party intervention – the most recent being in wake of the 2016 unrest when Islamabad sent envoy to influential countries, Delhi has remained sensitive to any such intervention. The statement, that is expected to be hailed by Pakistan and Kashmiri separatists, will add to the Foreign Office tensions in Delhi especially because Donald Trump and Narendra Modi have been projected as “natural allies”.

Interestingly, the statement came at a time, when CPEC (China Pakistan Economic Corridor) is dominating the diplomatic debates with various economic powers across globe keen to join it. The project that vastly reduces the distance between Chinese manufacturing facilities and the wider global market by cutting the Mediterranean loop, incidentally, passes through Gilgit – which is part of erstwhile Kashmir state.

In the same press conference, incidentally, Haley said that countries using to prevent sanctioning of terrorists will not “preclude” US from taking actions. She was referring to China’s efforts to prevent Azhar from being banned by the UN.

“The administration very much is looking at all of these avenues and some of the things we have talked about is sanctions and who is on the list and how we have managed that,” Haley was quoted saying. “And that is part of what we are going to try and find our place with is that we do want to make sure that we are calling out those that we need to call out.”

The senior US diplomat said that America is keen to “get more done” together – with other countries, and if it was impossible, US will still do it on her own. She said her country’s “aggressive administration” wants to make sure that it is leading towards a “result” and “not sitting back” and allowing things to happen.