Washington: US President Donald Trump has in a telephonic conversation urged Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan to “moderate rhetoric” with India over the situation in Jammu and Kashmir in an effort to reduce tensions.

Trump’s call with Khan – the second in less than a week – came soon after a 30-minute conversation with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday, during which the Indian leader raised the issue “extreme rhetoric and incitement to anti-India violence” by leaders of Pakistan.

Trump spoke by telephone with Khan to discuss “the need to reduce tensions and moderate rhetoric with India over the situation in Jammu and Kashmir,” the White House said in a readout of the call.

During the conversation, Trump “reaffirmed the need to avoid escalation of the situation, and urged restraint” on both sides, the White House said.

The two leaders also agreed to work towards strengthening US-Pakistan economic and trade cooperation, it added.

In his telephonic conversation with Trump, Modi highlighted the importance of creating an environment free from terror and violence and eschewing cross-border terrorism without exception, a Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) release said in New Delhi.

“In the context of the regional situation, the prime minister stated that extreme rhetoric and incitement to anti-India violence by certain leaders in the region was not conducive to peace,” it said.

Continuing with his tirade against India over the Kashmir issue, Khan on Sunday had called the Indian government “fascist” and “supremacist”, alleging that it poses a threat to Pakistan as well as to the minorities in India.

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He also said the world must also seriously consider the safety and security of India’s nuclear arsenal as it impacts not just the region but the world.

Earlier this month, India abrogated provisions of Article 370 on the Constitution to withdraw Jammu and Kashmir’s special status and bifurcated it into two Union Territories, evoking strong reactions from Pakistan.

White House Principal Deputy Press Secretary Hogan Gidley said Trump spoke with Modi to “discuss regional developments” and the US-India strategic partnership.

The President conveyed the importance of reducing tensions between India and Pakistan, and maintaining peace in the region, he said.

“The two leaders further discussed how they will continue to strengthen United States-India economic ties through increased trade, and they look forward to meeting again soon,” Gidley added.





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