Trump’s Kashmir mediation remarks rock both houses of Parliament
New Delhi, Jul 23: US President Donald Trump’s claim on Kashmir mediation led to angry reactions from the opposition in Parliament on Tuesday, as the government asserted that all outstanding issues between India and Pakistan can be discussed only bilaterally.
While Rajya Sabha witnessed repeated adjournments over the issue, the opposition walked out of Lok Sabha proceedings demanding a statement from the prime minister himself.
Soon after the House met for the day at 11 AM, opposition parties raked up the issue of Trump’s remarks made in the presence of Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan.
The US President had on Monday claimed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had asked him to play the role of a mediator on Kashmir.
Deputy leader of Congress in Rajya Sabha Anand Sharma said Trump had stated that Prime Minister of India had at the recent G20 meeting in Osaka in Japan sought his mediation.
India’s position has been consistent and clear on Pakistan and Pakistan administered Kashmir (PaK) and has always maintained that it will not accept third party mediation in purely bilateral issue.
Since Parliament is in session and considering that the comments were made by the President of the world’s most powerful nation to the prime minister of another country, Prime Minister Modi should come to the House and clarify on the issue, he said.
CPI’s D Raja wanted to know if there was any change in India’s position on third party mediation on Kashmir issue.
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said Prime Minister Modi never made any such request to the US leader and reiterated that Kashmir is a bilateral issue.
He said all outstanding issues between India and Pakistan can be discussed only bilaterally, thereby ruling out any third party mediation.
“I would like to categorically state that no such request has been made by the prime minister to the US President,” he said.
The minister said it has been the consistent position of India that all outstanding issues with Pakistan can be discussed only bilaterally.
“Any engagement with Pakistan will require an end to cross border terrorism,” he said, adding Shimla and Lahore accords signed between India and Pakistan provide the basis for resolution of all issues bilaterally.
Opposition parties were, however, not satisfied by the statement of the External Affairs Minister and wanted the prime minister to come to the House and clarify.
This led to heated exchanges between opposition benches and Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu, who adjourned proceedings for nearly an hour.
In Lok Sabha, the Opposition walked out demanding the prime minister’s statement on Trump’s remarks.
As soon as the Lower House met for the day, members from the Congress and some other opposition parties were on their feet shouting slogans over the issue.
Later, when the Zero Hour began, Manish Tewari (Cong) said since the statement of Trump is serious, the prime minister himself should clarify.
Saugata Roy (TMC) said it was in contravention to the position held by India. He also rejected any clarification bv Jaishankar on the issue.
AIADMK’s T R Baalu said since the issue involved the PM, he should personally make a statement in the House.
When Jaishakar rose to make a statement, it was drowned in protest by the entire opposition.
The opposition then walked out of proceedings.
Home Minister Amit Shah requested the Speaker to allow Jaishankar to repeat the statement as it was essential that people hear him clearly.
Amid the ruckus in the House, Speaker Om Birla said it was a serious issue and there should not be any politics over the matter.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi said Opposition members were trying to belittle the image of the country.
PM never asked Trump for mediation: Jaishankar
New Delhi: Amid Opposition demands for a clarification by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on US President Donald Trump’s claim that the former asked for his mediation on the Kashmir issue, the External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar on Tuesday stated in the Rajya Sabha that no such request was ever made.
“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 Minister said.
Offering to be a “mediator” between India and Pakistan on the Kashmir issue, the US President had, in a meeting with Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday, asked him if he would agree to the proposal.
President does not make up things, says Trump’s advisor
Washington, Jul 23: President Donald Trump “does not make up things”, a top presidential advisor said on Tuesday when asked about a question on his stunning claim that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had asked him to mediate on the Kashmir issue, remarks which has been strongly refuted by India.
It is “a very rude question,” Trump’s Chief Economic Advisor Larry Kudlow told reporters at the White House when a journalist following up on the president’s remarks asked if it was made up.
“The president doesn’t make things up,” Kudlow said.
A day earlier, Trump offered to be the “mediator” between India and Pakistan on the Kashmir issue as he met Prime Minister Imran Khan at the White House.
Trump, who is known to make inaccurate statements, claimed that Prime Minister Modi asked him to mediate on Kashmir when they met in Osaka, Japan on the sidelines of the G20 Summit last month.