New Delhi: As US president Donald Trump offered to mediate on Kashmir issue for the third time, India said that its position, which has already been mentioned in the past, is known. Notably, President Trump, in a joint media briefing with Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, was asked if he was willing to mediate on the Kashmir conflict, to which he replied “I am ready, willing and able. It’s a complex issue. But will do so (mediate) only if both sides want me to.”
Responding to US President’s offer, A Gitesh Sharma, Secretary (West) in the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), said,” There is a meeting tomorrow, let us wait for the meeting.” Sharma was referring to President Trump and PM Narendra Modi’s scheduled meeting in New York at 9:45 PM (IST) on the sidelines of 74th UNGA session.
MEA spokesman Raveesh Kumar, on the other hand, said,” You see, the Secretary (Sarma’s) response is after giving some thought. You are aware of our position, we have mentioned about this in the past. But my request is just hold on; just hold on for the meeting tomorrow. I think it is not far and we do intend to immediately hold a briefing after that where all the queries which you have on the topic will be answered.”
At several occasions, the US president has offered to mediate in the decades-old Kashmir conflict. He had first spoken about it in July when the Pak PM had visited the United States. Speaking to media then, Trump had said,“I was with Prime Minister Modi two weeks ago, and we talked about the subject. And he actually said, ‘would you like to be a mediator, or arbitrator’, and I said ‘where?’, and he said ‘Kashmir’, because this has been going on for many, many years. I was surprised for how long it has been going on,” to which Imran Khan interjected to say, “70 years”.
“I think they (India) would like to see it resolved, and I think you (Pakistan) would like to see it resolved. And if I can help, I would love to be mediator,” the US President had stated.
India had rebuffed Trump’s claim, saying that Modi had never made such a request to him, and stressed that all outstanding issues with Pakistan are “discussed only bilaterally”. “We have seen the US President’s remarks to the press that he is ready to mediate, if requested by India and Pakistan, on the Kashmir issue. No such request has been made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the US President,” Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar had said then.
A month later in August, he made same offer and reiterated that he was ready to assist if the two South Asian neighbours (India and Pakistan) wanted his help in resolving the Kashmir issue.
“I think they are fantastic people Khan and Modi — I mean. I would imagine they could get along very well, but if they wanted somebody to intervene, to help them. and I spoke with Pakistan about that and I spoke frankly in (sic) India about it,” Trump had said.