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Trump once again offers mediation on Kashmir

US president claims India, Pakistan going to work out Kashmir; says his relationship with PM Khan is so good; hopes India will take right decision for its people

LAHORE - US President Donald Trump Tuesday once again offered mediation on Kashmir between India and Pakistan saying, Kashmir has been “thorn in lot of people’s sides” for long time and there are two sides of every story. Trump described Kashmir as a “big problem” between India and Pakistan.

“If anything I can do to mediate, I will do. Kashmir obviously is a big problem, but India and Pakistan are going to work it out. They have been doing it for a long time,” he told reporters while responding to a question.

US President Donald Trump on Tuesday addressed a press conference and responded to question about Kashmir, controversial citizenship law, and trade deal.

To another question about terrorism Trump replied, “We talked a lot about it today. I said I will do whatever I can do to help as my relationship with both gentlemen (PM Khan and Indian PM Modi) is so good... Anything I can do to mediate/help, I’d do. They (Pakistan) are working on Kashmir.” “They (Pakistan) are working to control cross-border terrorism,” he said, according to Times of India.

The US President said he discussed the issue of religious freedom with PM Modi during comprehensive talks. “We did talk about religious freedom. And I will say the Prime Minister was incredible on what he told me. He wants people have religious freedom.”

Trump further said, “I didn’t discuss the CAA with PM Modi, it is up to India. Don’t want to say anything on CAA; I hope India will take the right decision for its people. Trump once again complained of the “large amount of tariffs imposed by India on his country’s products. India is probably the highest tariff nation. I think you have to pay the highest tariff when you deal with India, he said.

10 die, 120 injured including journalists as communal riots persist in New Delhi

American officials previously expressed concern about the citizenship law, and suggested that the President should raise the issue with Modi during the trip.

However, when pressed further by another reporter about India’s past rejection of his offers, Trump was quoted as saying, “I didn’t say anything about that [being a mediator]. Kashmir obviously is a big problem between India and Pakistan; they are going to work out their problem. They have been doing it for a long time.”

On the other hand, at least 10 people were killed and more than 120 others including journalists wounded as communal riots entered second day in Delhi over the controversial Indian citizenship law amid US President Donald Trump’s first official visit to the country.

The violence, being described as the deadliest in decades, erupted in parts of New Delhi on Monday before the arrival of US President Donald Trump and spread to other parts of the state within hours.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal tweeted that the violence was “very distressing” and called for “peace and harmony.”

According to media reports, at least 124 people were in hospital with various blunt force and bullet injuries, Dr Rajesh Kalra, an official at East Delhi’s Guru Tej Bahadur Hospital, told reporters that nine people were declared dead, including a police officer.


The Hindu and Muslim mobs clashed violently as police used force against protesters. The clashes took place in Muslim-majority neighbourhoods in north-east Delhi - about 18km (11 miles) from the heart of the capital, where Mr Trump was holding meetings with Indian leaders, diplomats, and businessmen.


The Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) - which critics say is anti-Muslim - has sparked massive protests since it was passed last year, and some of those have turned violent. But the demonstrations in Delhi have been peaceful until now.


According to Indian media, further clashes are also feared despite heavy police deployment. The protesters were seen throwing stones and shouting slogans, with some in the crowd shouting “shoot the traitors”.


“We have seen a tyre market that’s been set on fire, plumes of smoke are coming up. Journalists, including us, are being heckled and warned against filming,” journalist Yogita Limaye said.


The deadly violence is linked to a BJP leader, Kapil Mishra, who had threatened a group of protesters staging a sit-in against the CAA over the weekend, telling them that they would be forcibly evicted once Mr Trump left India.


Delhi police spokesman MS Randhawa claimed that the situation was under control and but mobs continued to chant slogans and throw stones. Mr Randhawa said they had registered a number of complaints and that they were deploying drones and scanning CCTV camera footage. He warned people that trouble-makers would be identified and action would be taken against them.


Eyewitnesses said they saw charred vehicles and streets full of stones in areas like Jaffrabad and Chand Bagh on Tuesday morning. Police were allowing people to enter only after checking their identity cards.

Some metro stations have also been shut.


Among the dead were nine civilians mostly Muslim and one policeman, according to Sunil Kumar Gautam, the medical director of GTB hospital where most of the casualties were reported. Mr Gautam said the toll is likely to rise.


Two journalists belonging to the NDTV news channel were badly beaten while they were out reporting on Tuesday morning. Another reporter from a local channel called JK24x7 was injured when he was shot at.


The Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) grants amnesty to non-Muslim immigrants from three nearby Muslim-majority countries - Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh. It raised fears that India’s secular status is at risk, and critics say it discriminates against Muslims.

Hundreds of thousands of people across India, both Muslim and Hindu, have taken part in protests against the law.

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