India rejects Trump’s claim of PM Modi seeking help on Kashmir
Washington: US President Donald Trump on Monday offered to mediate between India and Pakistan on the Kashmir issue, calming that Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently sought his help in resolving the dispute. India has denied Trump’s claim.
The US president made this remark while meeting Pakistani PM Imran Khan at the White House.
“I was with Prime Minister Modi two weeks ago. We talked about this subject (Kashmir issue). He said: ‘Would you like to be a mediator or arbitrator?’ I said: ‘Where?’ He said ‘Kashmir’,” Trump said in his opening remarks at the Oval Office during his meeting with Khan. “It’s a terrible situation, been going on for many years.”
Khan welcomed Trump’s remarks and said if the US agrees, prayers of more than a billion people will be with him.
India, so far, has maintained that the Kashmir issue is a bilateral one and no third party has any role.
Rejecting Trump’s claim, Raveesh Kumar, spokesperson, ministry of external affairs, tweeted: “We have seen @POTUS’s remarks to the press that he is ready to mediate, if requested by India & Pakistan, on Kashmir issue. No such request has been made by PM @narendramodi to US President.”
Also, the official statement released by the White House on Trump’s meeting with Khan does not mention Kashmir.
“It has been India’s consistent position that all outstanding issues with Pakistan are discussed only bilaterally. Any engagement with Pakistan would require an end to cross border terrorism. The Shimla Agreement & the Lahore Declaration provide the basis to resolve all issues between India & Pakistan bilaterally,” Kumar said.
Trump, who is known to make inaccurate statements, claimed that Prime Minister Modi asked him to mediate on the Kashmir issue.
“If I can help, I would love to be a mediator. If I can do anything to help, let me know,” Trump said in response to a question.
Trump said that he is ready to help, if the two countries ask for it.
India has not been engaging with Pakistan since an attack on the Air Force base at Pathankot in January of 2016 by Pakistan-based terrorists.,maintaining that talks and terror cannot go together.
Trump claimed that Modi and he discussed the issue of Kashmir in Osaka, Japan on the sidelines of the G-20 Summit last month, where the Indian prime minister made an offer of a third-party arbitration on Kashmir.