New Delhi: A day after the United States President Donald Trump renewed his offer to mediate between India and Pakistan on Kashmir issue, Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar on Thursday maintained that India’s position on the matter has been clear since the beginning.
Reiterating that Kashmir is a bilateral issue and no third party should be involved in it, MEA Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said, “Even yesterday he(Donald Trump) said that India and Pakistan should both agree for any kind of mediation. Our position is very clear, it has been articulated by the Prime Minister earlier, that position remains.”
“The discussion between Prime Minister and US President Donald Trump regarding J&K, yesterday, was in the context of counter-terrorism. Our position on how the matter has to be addressed has been answered in the past and there is no change in that position,” he added.
Kumar’s statement comes after MEA Secretary (West) A Gitsh Sarma on Tuesday refused to comment on the mediation offer at a press conference and told journalists to “wait for the meeting” between the two leaders. Trump had on Wednesday urged the two nations to “work it out” on the Kashmir issue whether by “arbitration or mediation”.
Trump’s statement was made during his meeting with Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly session. MEA Spokesperson Kumar had responded to Sarma’s statement saying that his reaction comes “after giving some thought”. He had further told reporters that although India has made its position very clear time and again, the meeting was not too far so just hold on to it.
India’s bilateral ties with Pakistan have significantly downgraded as tensions escalated since the Narendra Modi-led government revoked Article 370 of the Indian Constitution on August 5, snatching away the special status of Jammu and Kashmir. PM Imran Khan on multiple occasions ‘warned’ of a possible nuclear war between the two nations as the neighbouring country has maintained its staunch opposition on the issue.