The Trump administration’s statement regarding India-Pakistan ties as a precursor to the US President’s visit to India is a positive indicator for Pakistan. The statement stopped short of directly implicating India in its consistent cross-border attacks, the treatment of Kashmiris in Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK) or the marginalisation of Muslims through the Citizenship Amendment Act. But for once, the US administration looks to be asking both sides to deescalate, which is not a line that India’s biggest trading partners generally take.

What is said in public however, often differs from private conversations and diplomatic engagements. There are reports that President Trump will use this visit to voice his concerns against the CAA and the Kashmir lockdown. This in itself is a victory for Pakistan’s narrative, as there is growing pressure on India to answer for its crimes against its own people.

But even if President Trump’s visit does highlight the Kashmir issue, will it be as effective as necessary? Remember, that the US views India as a direct counter to China’s growing influence over the region and the world, and this might make it difficult to get anything but strongly worded statements against India by the US. President Trump is different from his predecessors and he may just mention the atrocities in Kashmir, but the US government is likely to stop short of taking any real action against India.

If the US is indeed serious in facilitating a more positive relationship between India and Pakistan, it must first look to force the eastern neighbour to the negotiation table on the Kashmir issue. We have already made our stance clear innumerable times; Pakistan is willing to discuss this matter with India, with or without the help of a third-party. The ball has always been in India’s court. And if it is not looking to play by the rules, then other states must intercede on the behalf of Kashmiris. Hopefully, the Trump administration understands that.