US President Donald Trump’s proposal to be the “mediator” between India and Pakistan on the Kashmir issue has intensified into a major row, with India contending that Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked the help of the US. The United States is also in damage-control mode, with some lawmakers calling Trump’s statement ‘unprofessional and difficult’.
The US President, during a conference with Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan at the White House, said Modi had requested him to mediate on Kashmir, a contentious problem between the neighbours.
India, however, rejected the claim, saying: “We have seen @POTUS’s remarks to the press that he is ready to mediate if asked by India & Pakistan, on Kashmir matter. PM @narendramodi has made no such request to US President.”
Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted: “It has been India’s similar position that all outstanding problems with Pakistan are considered only bilaterally. Any engagement with Pakistan would want an end to cross border terrorism. The Shimla Agreement & the Lahore Declaration provide the authority to resolve all issues between India & Pakistan bilaterally.”
The problem soon turned into a political slugfest, with the Opposition demanding clarification from PM Modi. The problem is likely to rock Parliament today, where External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar may issue a statement clearing the air.