ISLAMABAD    -   Pakistan does not send militants to India or any other country, Pakistan has told the US after India tried to gain Washington sympathies amid tension between the South Asian giants.

Pakistan and the US are in contact at the top level and Washington had shared some ‘complaints’ by India that Pakistan was sending militants in Kashmir and elsewhere, senior government officials told The Nation on Sunday.

“Our position is very clear. We have never send fighters to India and we have never done it (sent militants) to any country. The Kashmir freedom struggle is indigenous which Pakistan supports diplomatically and politically,” one official said, citing regular talks with the US counterparts.

Another official said US President Donald Trump was playing an active role to defuse the Pak-India tension but India was defiant to play under its own terms. “The only thing Pakistan wants is normalcy in Kashmir. We are ready for talks anywhere, anytime,” he maintained.

Earlier, a US think-tank has warned that the spectre of nuclear war haunts tensions between Pakistan and India and the disputed territory of Kashmir could provide the spark that lights South Asia’s nuclear fuse.

The report by Stratfor, a geopolitical intelligence platform based in Austin, Texas, also disputes the classification of Kashmir issue as India’s internal affair or a bilateral issue between India and Pakistan.

The possibility of the conflict going nuclear has increased after Indian Defense Minister Rajnath Singh’s statement of abandoning India’s “no first use” doctrine, says the report. It said the people of Kashmir were promised a plebiscite that never took place.

It pointed out that last February, Pakistan downed an Indian fighter jet but returned its pilot. However, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi did not acknowledge Islamabad’s conciliatory gesture nor his government has been willing to discuss the Kashmir issue, whose people were promised a plebiscite on their future.

President Trump has been in contact with both Prime Minister Imran Khan and Prime Minister Narendra Modi urging the need to reduce tensions over Kashmir and avoid steps that might escalate the crisis.

Prime Minister Khan has been regularly taking to Twitter to attack Modi, calling him a fascist and racist. He has also alleged that Modi was turning India into a Hindu supremacist country, and that Muslims in the country were being disenfranchised and “RSS goons were on the rampage.” The US however, says there was no change in its Kashmir policy, that it was a bilateral issue between India Pakistan and India. On August 5, India scrapped Article 370 - a constitutional provision that allowed Jammu and Kashmir semi-autonomy over laws and prevented land ownership by non-Kashmiris.

The decision was instant and aided by a complete shutdown of the region, including a communications blackout and military security. The clampdown lasted almost two weeks.

Kashmir has been a source of constant strife between Pakistan and India, and this move by the Indian government fanned the tension. PM Imran Khan had successfully called for a UN security council meeting to discuss Kashmir but the meeting concluded with no official statements.

Within India too, there has been dissent about the move. Modi tried to address the subject in his Independence Day speech. With the abrogation of Article 370 and 35A in Jammu and Kashmir, the dream of ‘One Nation, One Constitution’ has been realised, said Modi. He also lashed out at the opposition for speaking against the move, asking if they felt it was so necessary why did not they make it permanent in the past 70 years.

President Trump will meet Prime Minister Modi in Paris today (August 26) and discuss the issue of Kashmir. The leaders will hold discussions on the sidelines of the G-7 Summit in the country, where PM Modi has been invited as a chief guest.  The meeting will be held in the wake of two recent statements by Trump to mediate talks between Pakistan and India on the Kashmir issue.

India, however, has maintained its long-held stance of bilateral talks with the neighbouring country, and that talks cannot be held if Pakistan keep “supporting terror groups.” The two leaders are also likely to discuss wide-ranging issues of trade between India and the US.

Confirming the development that he would meet PM Modi during the G-7 Summit, Trump said he would do his best to “mediate” talks between Pakistan and India.

“As you know, PM Khan was here just recently and I am going to be with PM Modi over the weekend in France. So, I think we are helping the situation but there is tremendous problems between those two countries, as you know, and I will do the best I can to mediate or do something,” said Trump. This is not the first time that Trump has proposed to act as a mediator for Pakistan-India talks.