JULY 22, 2019
US President Donald Trump has offered to mediate in Kashmir dispute between India and Pakistan ‘if mediation is required’. President Trump said this during his meeting with Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan in White House in Washington DC on Monday.
“If I can help in the Kashmir issue, I will help,” Trump said during the meeting. “If I could mediate in the Kashmir issue, I would love to help,” he said.
Trump also said that he “would love to go to Pakistan, if invited”. “Both countries can play an important role in the Kashmir dispute”.
Imran Khan reportedly accepted Trump’s offer. “Yes, it would be in the benefit of billions of people if you do so to solve the long dispute between the two country,” the Pakistan PM told the US president.
However, the official statement released by White House on President Trump’s meeting with PM Imran Khan does not mention Kashmir
India in the past has categorically denied any foreign help in the Kashmir dispute with Pakistan. India maintains that Kashmir dispute in an internal issue and will be resolved bilaterally with Pakistan.
#WATCH Washington DC: Pakistan PM Imran Khan and US President Donald Trump reply to journalists when asked on Kashmir. pic.twitter.com/UM51rbsIYF
ANI (@ANI) July 22, 2019
India denies claim
Ministry of External Affairs has denied the claim made by the US President.
“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. 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,” the MEA spokesperson said on social media. |
He does not know what he is talking about: Shashi Tharoor
Donald Trump’s statement in Washington DC drew sharp reactions within India. Moments after Donald Trump’s statement, Congress leader Shashi Tharoor said that Donald Trump had no clue about what he was talking about.
“I honestly don’t think Trump has the slightest idea of what he’s talking about. He has either not been briefed or not understood what Modi was saying or what India’s position is on 3rd-party mediation. That said, MEA should clarify that Delhi has never sought his intercession,” Shashi Tharoor tweeted.
I honestly don’t think Trump has the slightest idea of what he’s talking about. He has either not been briefed or not understood what Modi was saying or what India’s position is on 3rd-party mediation. That said, MEA should clarify that Delhi has never sought his intercession. https://t.co/DxRpNu6vw2
Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) July 22, 2019
Before MEA released a statement, other Opposition leaders, including former Jammu and Kashmir CM Omar Abullah and Left leader Sitaram Yechury, demanded a clarification from the Indian government.
“Personally I think @realDonaldTrump is talking out of his hat when he says @PMOIndia asked for US involvement in solving the Kashmir issue but I’d like to see @MEAIndia call Trump out on his claim,” Omar Abdullah said in a tweet.
Sitaram Yechury said: “What does this say about our long-held position of sovereignty over the Indian state of J&K, as defined in the Simla Agreement? Will our twitter-friendly PM have the courage to rebut the US President who has made a public statement?”
Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala, in his tweet, said that India has never accepted third party mediation in Jammu & Kashmir. “To ask a foreign power to mediate in J&K by PM Modi is a sacrilegious betrayal of country’s interests. Let PM answer to the Nation!,” Surejewala said.