New Delhi: Hours after the United States president Donald Trump claimed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi sought his mediation or arbitration efforts to resolve the Kashmir issue, an influential Democratic Congressman issued an apology to India’s US envoy Harsh Shringla. “I just apologised to Indian Ambassador Harsh Shringla for Trump’s amateurish and embarrassing mistake,” Congressman Brad Sherman tweeted. Also Read - China's Defence Minister Meets Pak Army Chief; Discusses Regional Security Issues
Backing India, Sherman, who has been closely following the development in South Asia for past few decades, stated,”Everyone who knows anything about foreign policy in South Asia knows that India consistently opposes third-party mediation e Kashmir. Everyone knows PM Modi would never suggest such a thing (sic).” Also Read - Amid Farmers Protest, PM Modi Says New Agricultural Reforms Have Given Them Legal Protection
“Trump’s statement is amateurish and delusional and embarrassing,” he added. Also Read - Nationwide Lockdown on Cards? PM Modi to Hold All-party Meet on December 4 to Discuss COVID Situation
Earlier on Monday, during a meeting with Pakistan PM Imran Khan at the Oval Office, Trump had offered to ‘mediate the resolution with India over Kashmir’ and went on to claim that PM Narendra Modi asked him to ‘help resolve the Kashmir dispute’.
“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 said yesterday.
“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 said.
The Central government has rebuffed Trump’s offer to mediate on the Kashmir issue, saying that PM 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 said in a tweet.
“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 Simla Agreement & the Lahore Declaration provide the basis to resolve all issues between India & Pakistan bilaterally,” he added.
The Congress party’s MP Shashi Tharoor had also lambasted the US president saying,“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.”