Pakistan Official welcomes Trump’s offer to mediate between India and Pakistan

Responding to the US president elect’s offer to mediate between India and Pakistan to help solve the Kashmir dispute, Pakistan Foreign Office (FO) spokesman Nafees Zakaria said on Thursday that Trump’s offer is ‘welcome’, reported Dawn. This comment coming two days after Trump’s victory was a response to an offer made by the Us president elect about a fortnight ago.
Nafees Zakaria
Image credit: Samaa Tv

Today’s report in the Dawn said that during a weekly press briefing in Islamabad, Zakaria was responding to the queries about the victory of Trump in the presidential elections, when he accepted the offer by the president-elect.
The FO reportedly said Pakistan desires a close relationship with the US, and wishes to strengthen ties in areas like economy, defence, science and technology, education, strategic issues and counter-terrorism.
Pakistan will continue to promote and strengthen existing ties in areas of common interest, the FO said, according to Dawn
Before his election victory, on October 17, Trump had said that in an interview with Hindustan Times, that he’d be “honoured” to achieve peace between the two countries. 
“If it (mediation) was necessary I would do that. If we could get India and Pakistan getting along, I would be honoured to do that. That would be a tremendous achievement… I think if they wanted me to, I would love to be the mediator or arbitrator,” said Trump.
He had also called the cross-border tension between India and Pakistan a “very, very hot tinderbox”.
However, because of his statements during a charity event hosted by Hindu Republic Coalition, Pakistan was reportedly wary that he may favour India, if he meddled. During the event he had said that India and the US would be “best friends” if he became the president, and the two countries would have a “phenomenal future” together.  
“There isn’t going to be any relationship more important to us,” he had said.
Following his election as the president of the US, Pakistani political experts have expressed their concern over Trump’s possible favoritism towards India. His anti-Muslim rhetoric is expected to play an important role in US’ relationship with Islamic countries. 
"America will not abandon Pakistan, but definitely, Trump will be a tougher president than Hillary Clinton for Pakistan," Dawn quoted Hasan Askari Rizvi, Lahore-based foreign policy analyst. "I think India will have a better and smoother interaction compared to Pakistan."
However, a US diplomat assured that there will be no drastic change in US’ foreign policy. “Our foreign policy is based on national interest and they don't change when the government changes,” Grace Shelton, U.S. Consul General in Karachi, told Geo News television.

Against this backdrop, the ‘welcoming’ of Trump’s offer to settle issues between India and Pakistan by the Pakistan’s FO might not go down well with the Pakistanis.

Also read: Will India Turn Off the Indus Tap?



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