Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday held a telephone conversation with US President Donald Trump and discussed with him bilateral and regional matters, including the Afghan peace process and the Kashmir issue, his office said.
Khan conveyed that the release of Western hostages in Afghanistan was a positive development and Pakistan was happy that they were safe and free, the Prime Minister Office said in a statement. “President Trump thanked the prime minister for Pakistan’s efforts in facilitating this positive outcome,” according to the statement.
The prime minister re-affirmed Pakistan’s commitment to the advancement of the Afghan peace and reconciliation process for a peaceful and stable Afghanistan. Both leaders agreed to continue to work together for the promotion of this shared objective.
The Afghan Taliban released two Western hostages in southern Afghanistan on Tuesday, handing them over to US forces more than three years after they were abducted in Kabul. Imran Khan also held talks with Donald Trump on Kashmir.
Tension between India and Pakistan escalated after New Delhi revoked Jammu and Kashmir’s special status on August 5. Pakistan has been trying to internationalise the Kashmir issue but India has asserted that the removal of special status of Kashmir under Article 370 was its “internal matter.”
Appreciating President Trump’s continued engagement as well as mediation offer, Prime Minister Khan stressed that the US president must continue his efforts for facilitation of a peaceful solution of the Kashmir issue, the statement said.
Trump has repeatedly offered to mediate between India and Pakistan resolve the Kashmir issue. New Delhi has been maintaining that Kashmir is a bilateral matter between India and Pakistan with no scope for third party mediation.
Recalling their conversations in Washington and New York, the two leaders agreed to deepen bilateral collaboration, including in relevant multilateral fora. The two leaders further agreed to remain in close contact.