Imran Khan, Donald Trump, Kashmir

Imran, Trump discuss Kashmir issue over telephone

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan discussed situation in Indian-occupied Kashmir (IoK) with US President Donald Trump during a telephonic conversation on August 19.

Addressing a press conference in Islamabad the same day, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said that PM Imran Khan and US President Donald Trump have discussed the evolving situation in Kashmir after India s unilateral decision to change special status of Occupied Kashmir.

He said that in a telephonic call the prime minister apprised Donald Trump that Indian unilateral decision was aimed at changing special status of the internationally recognized disputed territory and its demography.

The foreign minister said that US President Donald Trump spoke with India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi over phone and urged him to reduce tension between India and Pakistan over the disputed Kashmir region.

“Later, he [Trump] had a telephonic conversation with PM Imran,” Qureshi said.

The foreign minister said that Imran Khan had made it clear to the US president that India’s decision to revoke occupied Kashmir’s special status has put the regional peace at stake.

Accusing India of waging “fifth-generation warfare”, Pakistan said on August 19 New Delhi had failed to inform it about the release of water from a dam that could cause flooding across the border.

Relations between the neighbours, already hostile, have been deeply strained over India’s decision this month to revoke the special status of its portion of the Kashmir region that both countries claim. Pakistan reacted with fury, cutting transport and trade links and expelling India’s ambassador in retaliation, Reuters reported.

Islamabad said the unexpected release of water into the River Sutlej that flows from India to Pakistan was part of an attempt by New Delhi to flout a longstanding treaty between the countries.

“They try to isolate diplomatically, they try to strangulate economically, they’re trying to strangulate our water resources – and water automatically will have an impact on your economy, your agriculture and your irrigation,” Muzammil Hussain, chairman of the Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA), told Reuters.

India was using its position upstream to wage “fifth-generation warfare” on the country, said Hussain, whose government agency is responsible for water in Pakistan.

Pakistani emergency authorities were preparing for minor flooding in several areas in Punjab state on Monday as a result of the unexpected rise in water flow, though it was not clear if any had occurred.

“India did not communicate the release of water to Pakistan,” Khurram Shahzed, director general of Punjab Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA), told Reuters.

Spokesmen for India’s water ministry and foreign ministry did not respond to requests for comment.

An Indian government official familiar with the matter said release of water was a “routine exercise” during the monsoon season, and that the amounts involved did not require disclosure under the treaty between the two countries.

However, the official added that poor relations between the two countries has affected information sharing.


 




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