The Foreign Office on Thursday stated that US president-elect Donald Trump had offered mediation between Pakistan and India on the Kashmir dispute and said that Pakistan had welcomed that offer. It is hoped that this is just a diplomatic statement, and that the Foreign Office is not taking the mediation offer at face value.

Trump last month, spoke of the region as a “very hot tinderbox” to be sorted out, but the American stance has been to treat Kashmir as a bilateral issue and it will not be a priority for Trump. It is also unlikely that there will be a softening of the current stance of India being an ally, and Pakistan being the training camp for terrorism.

From the Indian perspective, the status quo is fine. It is Pakistan who is keeping the Kashmir issue alive due to the concerns for security as well as the human rights status of the people in Indian-held Kashmir. To expect that a Republican majority congress will come to any decision about mediations over Kashmir that will benefit Pakistan is naïve.

At an event sponsored by the Republican Hindu Coalition (RHC) last month, Trump said that US and India would be "best friends". Trump has also spoken of enhancing intelligence sharing between the two nations to combat Muslim extremism. The RHC helped Trump get a major chunk of the Indian-American vote, especially in the swing states. What has Pakistan done for Trump and the Republicans?

“Pakistan is a very very vital problem … have nuclear weapons and they have to get a hold of the situation,” Trump said in a CNN interview. He told Fox News in May he would favour keeping nearly 10,000 US troops in Afghanistan because Pakistan has nuclear weapons. In 2012 he tweeted, ‘When will Pakistan apologise to us for providing a safe sanctuary to Osama Bin Laden for 6 years?! Some “ally.”’ A year before that he wanted a pull-back on aid to Pakistan unless it demolished its nuclear arsenal, “They are not friends of ours.” In June, Donald Trump said people with roots in Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Somalia pose threats to the United States.

This perception will not change, though Trump’s statements will become a bit more diplomatic.

Treaties like the Iran Deal and the granting of a subsidy for F-16s being bought by Pakistan were backed by the Obama administration as these deals were pragmatic. They were criticised by the Republicans in Congress due to its violent stance on national security. Unlike President Obama, who was somewhat of a reasonable President backed by an unreasonable Congress, we now had to deal with a bigoted President and an even more unreasonable Congress.