New Delhi: Days after his offer was strongly rejected by India, US President Donald Trump has yet again asserted that he was ready to assist if the two South Asian neighbours (India and Pakistan) wanted his help in resolving the decades-old 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 said referring to his last week’s meeting with Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, wherein he offered to help resolve the Kashmir issue.
Speaking to reporters while responding to a question on India not accepting his offer of mediation on Kashmir, the US president said,”It’s really up to Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi (to accept the offer of mediation).”
“Have they accepted the offer or not?”, Trump sought a clarification when asked about India’s rejection of his mediation offer. On being asked how would he “want to resolve the Kashmir issue”, Trump said, “If I can, if they wanted me to, I would certainly intervene.”
Last week, Trump had stunned India while addressing a joint press conference with Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan in the White House. The US president 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’.
Trump had claimed that PM Modi asked for his mediation in Kashmir dispute during their bilateral meeting in Japan in June on the sideline of the G-20 Summit.
The Indian government had strongly denied President Trump’s astonishing claim. “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,” Ministry of External Affairs spokesman Raveesh Kumar tweeted.
“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,” he added.
Besides, Union External Affairs of Minister S Jaishankar had also assured in the Rajya Sabha that no such request was made by the Prime Minister. “I would like to categorically assure the House that no such request has been made by PM Modi,” Jaishankar said in the upper House.