Roundup: Trump claims Modi asked him to mediate on Kashmir issue; US ready to help, India denies, Pakistan to seek help
US President Donald Trump claimed that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has asked him to mediate on the Kashmir issue. Trump has offered to be the mediator between India and Pakistan and solve the Kashmir issue as he met Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan at the White House. Khan and Trump discussed a number of issues, including the Afghan Peace Process. However, the Indian government has denied Trump’s claim. The US President, 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 Contradicts Himself
US President Donald Trump, who claimed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has asked him to mediate in Pakistan issue, contradicted himself in the next sentence. Trump, who claimed that he had spoken with the Indian Prime minister in the regard, moments later said that ‘he will talk with Modi’ to discuss mediation issue. While the US State Department on Monday said that the matter is a bilateral issue concerning Islamabad and New Delhi, however, Washington is ‘ready to assist’. “While Kashmir is a bilateral issue for both parties to discuss, the Trump administration welcomes Pakistan and India sitting down and the United States stands ready to assist. We believe the foundation for any successful dialogue between India and Pakistan is based on Pakistan taking sustained and irreversible steps against militants and terrorists on its territory,” US state department spokesperson told ANI.
US Ready to Help
The Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs that overseas US regional policy tweeted, ‘While Kashmir is a bilateral issue for both parties to discuss, the Trump administration welcomes #Pakistan and #India sitting down and the United States stands ready to assist. – AGW’
The tweet came with the initials ‘AGW’ which stands for American diplomat Alice G Wells who is also the acting assistant secretary of state for South Central Asia.
India Denies Claim
Raveesh Kumar, Official Spokesperson Ministry of External Affairs tweeted that no such request has been made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the US President. He writes, ‘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.’
Brad Sherman terms Trump’s remarks ‘amateurish’ and ‘delusional’
Calling US President Donald Trump remarks on Kashmir issue ‘amateurish’ and ‘delusional’, Congressman Brad Sherman on Monday said Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi would never ask Trump to act as a mediator. ‘Everyone who knows anything about foreign policy in South Asia knows that #India consistently opposes third-party mediation re #Kashmir. Everyone knows PM Modi would never suggest such a thing. Trump’s statement is amateurish and delusional. And embarrassing,’ tweeted Sherman.
…you would have the prayers of over a billion people if you can mediate: Khan to Trump
“We have a very good relationship with India. I know that your relationship (with India) is strained a little bit, maybe a lot. But we will be talking about India. (it’s) a big part of our conversation today and I think maybe we can help intercede and do whatever we have to do. It’s something that can be brought back together. We will be talking about India and Afghanistan both,” Trump told Khan. Khan, who was sitting by Trump’s side in the Oval Office of the White House, said that he is ready and welcomed such a move by the US. “Right now, you would have the prayers of over a billion people if you can mediate (on Kashmir),” Khan told Trump.
(With inputs from ANI, PTI, IANS)