Washington: Prime Minister Imran Khan had an embarrassing moment during a joint press conference with Donald Trump in New York when the US President mocked a Pakistan journalist for his rhetoric on the Kashmir issue. When a Pakistani journalist asked Trump about the situation in Kashmir, Trump asked him whether he was a member of Khan’s team.
“Are you from his (Imran Khan) team? You are making a statement, not asking a question,” the US President snubbed him.
After answering a few questions, the journalist again asked Trump about the alleged human rights violations in Kashmir. The US President then turned towards Khan and asked him, “Where do you (Imran Khan) find reporters like these?”. The US President’s jab evoked laughter in the hall while Khan and members of his delegation were left red-faced.
When Trump was responding to the Pakistani journalist, Khan was sitting on his chair and watching the events unfold before his eyes. At one time during the press meet, the US President had to ask a Pakistani journalist to keep his question small. “Make a very small, one-second statement,” he said.
During the press conference, Trump said that he was ready to mediate between India and Pakistan on the Kashmir issue only if both sides agree. Positioning himself as an “extremely good arbitrator”, he said, “If both (Pakistan and India) want, I am ready to do it.”
The meeting between Khan and Trump took place in New York on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly session, a day after Trump and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi shared the stage to address over 50,000 Indian-Americans in Houston. This was the second meeting between Khan and Trump within a month. While Pakistan has been insisting for a third party intervention on Kashmir, especially after New Delhi ended scrapped Article 370 from Kashmir, India has maintained that the Kashmir issue is a bilateral one and there is no scope for a third party interference.
During the ‘Howdy Modi’ event in Houston on Sunday night where PM Modi and Trump shared the stage and displayed a close friendship and a common vision on fighting terrorism, the former hit out at Pakistan for its support to terrorism and said New Delhi’s decision to abrogate Article 370 has caused trouble to those who cannot handle their country as he called for a “decisive battle” against terrorism.