NEW YORK  -   Prime Minister Imran Khan’s groundbreaking visit to the United States continues to draw comments from analysts who appreciate Pakistani leader’s efforts for rebuilding relations between the two countries, while highlighting President Donald Trump’s offer to mediate on the lingering Kashmir dispute.

“This is big,” Adil Najam, professor of international relations and a Dean at Boston University’s School of Global Studies, wrote in The Hill, an American newspaper that focuses on Congressional activities, about Trump’s offer, the first-ever by a US president to help resolve the 71-year-old dispute between India and Pakistan.

“One cannot imagine any universe in which trying to resolve this most dangerous, most enduring and most intractable of disputes between two very volatile and nuclear-armed rivals would be a bad thing,” Najam said. “Moreover, whatever one may think of Donald Trump, he could be just the person to give it a try.”

Khan, he said, pounced on the opportunity, accepting the offer immediately, noting his words: “I can tell you that, right now, you would have the prayers of over a billion people if you can mediate and resolve this issue.” But India has rejected the offer.

Both India and Pakistan, Najam wrote, agree that the Kashmir issue is the root cause of instability, hostility and even the nuclearization of South Asia.

“Both Khan and Modi have publicly expressed their desire to find a permanent resolution. Although India and Pakistan have tried to find a bilateral resolution for decades, the fact is that the two countries always fell short of an actual deal,” he said. “It’s quite clear that they need some help. Since both Modi and Khan seem to have struck great personal chemistry with Trump, why not put Trump and his fabled ‘art of the deal’ to the test?

“A week ago at the White House, President Trump described Kashmir as ‘a terrible situation.’ On this, he is entirely correct. It is terrible, most terrible for the long-suffering people of Kashmir — but terrible, also, for India, for Pakistan, for the region and for the world. Anything, anything at all, that has even the slightest chance of finding a resolution to this ‘terrible situation’ should at least be tried,” Najam added.

“Pakistan has reason to be pleased by the visit,” Sadanand Dhume, a South Asian expert, wrote in The Wall Street Journal (WSJ). “Nothing signals global acceptance more strongly than a welcome at the White House.”

“In a talk at the US Institute of Peace, Mr Khan put his best face forward,” Dhume said, noting that he came across as a down-to-earth leader whose Oxford education and cricket career makes him deeply comfortable in the West.

“Mr Khan drew applause several times, including when he declared that he sought ‘a dignified relationship’ with the US rather than one dependent on aid,” WSJ said. “He (Khan) pointed out that the US has come around to his longstanding belief that ‘there is no military solution’ in Afghanistan.” “That he managed to link peace in Afghanistan to a resolution of the Kashmir dispute counts as a PR victory for Pakistan,” Dhume wrote. Uproar in India following Trump’s offer about mediation suggested that “Prime Minister Khan had tossed a monkey wrench into the high-maintenance machinery of the US-India relationship.”

Dhume added, “Nearly three decades ago, Mr Khan became a national hero in Pakistan as captain of a scrappy underdog team that won the nation’s greatest sporting victory: the 1992 Cricket World Cup. But leading a country is more complex than leading a cricket team.”

Umair Jamal, correspondent of The Diplomat, an international magazine, wrote that a major accomplishment for Pakistan is that PM Khan got along with Trump very well on a personal level.

“This is very important when it comes to Islamabad and Washington’s bilateral relationship,” he said.

“Moreover, Khan’s recent meeting with Trump is likely going to set up a direct line of communication between the White House and Khan’s office, bypassing the thick bureaucracy on both sides. Essentially, this will help in terms of sidestepping hiccups that usually occur between the two countries when a direct line of communication is non-existent. It’s expected that Trump’s office would like to continue to remain in touch with Khan when it comes to progress concerning the Afghan peace process. Islamabad would like to use such an opportunity to sort out other issues in the bilateral realm.

“Above all, Khan’s visit has given Pakistan’s diplomacy a major public relations boost in Washington, which Islamabad fully intends to take advantage of. While it’s too early to predict the nature of Pakistan and the United States’ long-term relations, for the immediate term, Pakistan has scored a major win.”