Washington DC: India has vehemently denied that US President Donald Trump was requested by none other than PM Narendra Modi to intervene and help resolve the Kashmir issue. (Also read: Shashi Tharoor Hits Out at Trump Over Attack on Hindu Priest)
Reacting to Trump’s offer of mediation as also that PM Modi asked him to ‘help resolve the Kashmir dispute,’ Minister of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted late on Monday evening, “We have seen US President Donald Trump’s remarks to the press that he is ready to mediate, if requested by India and Pakistan, on Kashmir issue. No such request has been made by PM Narendra Modi 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 and the Lahore Declaration provide the basis to resolve all issues between India & Pakistan bilaterally.”
India’s rebuttal came within minutes of Trump’s claims after receiving Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan at the White House on Monday.
Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi was also present. During the meeting, Trump reportedly 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’.
Reuters’s India Twitter handle quoted Trump as saying that ‘maybe the US could intercede in strained India, Pak relations’.
Trump also said that Pakistan was helping the US in the Afghan peace process. Khan is also accompanied by Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa, Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) chief Lt Gen Faiz Hameed apart from Qureshi.
In his opening remarks, Trump noted that the US was working with Pakistan to withdraw from Afghanistan, and did not want the US to be the policeman in the region. He reportedly said that Pakistan was helping the US in the Afghanistan peace process. “I don’t think Pakistan respected the United States” in the past, Trump said, but “they are helping us a lot now.”
Meanwhile, the President of the US is also known to make statements that turn out to be factually or politically incorrect. Recently, he had claimed that 26/11 mastermind Hafiz Saeed was caught after a ten-year search, claiming a ‘pressure had been exerted over the last two years’.
Only last week, he had targeted four Congresswomen, asking them to go back to their countries, just because they all were people of colour.