New Delhi: US President Donald Trump has made it clear that his offer of mediation on Kashmir is not on the table anymore, the Indian ambassador has said. Ambassador Harsh Vardhan Shringla has said that America’s decades-old policy on Kashmir has been no mediation but to encourage India and Pakistan to resolve their differences bilaterally.
“President Trump has made it very clear that his offer to mediate on Jammu and Kashmir is dependent on both India and Pakistan accepting it. Since India has not accepted the offer of mediation, he has made it clear that this is not on the table anymore,” Shringla told Fox News, the favourite news channel of the US president.
On July 22, during his joint media appearance with Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan at the White House, President Trump stunned India by saying that Prime Minister Narendra Modi sought his mediation/arbitration on the Kashmir issue, a claim that was seen by many as outlandish and carrying little credibility.
India asserted that no such request was made by Prime Minister Modi to the US president and all issues will have to be resolved with Islamabad bilaterally.
A week later, Trump climbed down from his previous statement, saying it was up to India and Pakistan to resolve the Kashmir issue but he was ready to assist if the two South Asian neighbours wanted him to help in resolving the issue.
He said India made it clear to America that any discussion on the issue if at all warranted, will only be with Pakistan and only bilaterally, which has long been India’s stated position.
Shringla said that America’s policy on Kashmir has been no mediation but to encourage the two South Asian neighbours to resolve their differences bilaterally including on Kashmir, the pace and scope of which would be chosen by New Delhi and Islamabad.
“That has been the United States longstanding policy,” he said in response to a question referring to America’s decades-old policy.