The Centre on Tuesday “categorically assured” the Parliament that no request was made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, as claimed by US President Donald Trump, to mediate in the Kashmir dispute between India and Pakistan.
Donald Trump on Monday dropped a bombshell when he said that he has been asked by PM Modi to mediate in the Kashmir issue, much to the shock of India and US lawmakers alike.
“I would like to categorically assure the house that no such request has been made by the Prime Minister to the US President. I would also like to reiterate that it has been India’s consistent position that all outstanding issues with Pakistan are discussed only bilaterally,” External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said in the Rajya Sabha.
He asserted that any engagement with Pakistan would require an end to cross-border terrorism.
He also said the Simla Agreement and the Lahore Declaration provide the basis to resolve all the issues between India and Pakistan bilaterally.
Speaking on the matter, Rajya Sabha Chairman Venkaiah Naidu said that it was “national issue” and also urged all the leaders to “speak in one voice” as the “unity, integrity and national interest of the country is involved”.
Meanwhile, the Rajya Sabha has been adjourned till 2 pm following an uproar by the Opposition over the statement of US President Donald Trump that Prime Minister Narendra Narendra Modi had asked him to mediate in Kashmir issue.
Opposition MPs also created an uproar in the Lok Sabha over the shocking statement made by Trump. The Congress, spearheaded by Manish Tiwari, said Trump’s claim on Kashmir was “like a blow to the unity of India”.
Trump had on Monday, during a press conference with the visiting Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, claimed that PM Modi had asked him to mediate in the dispute with Pakistan.
India immediately rejected the claims.
Speaking to reporters before his meeting in the White House with Khan, Trump asserted that during his meeting with Modi in Osaka, “We talked about the subject, (and) he actually said, ‘Would you like to mediate or arbitrate?’ I said, ‘Where,?’ (and he said) ‘Kashmir’.”
As per the 1972 Simla Agreement, India has time and again maintained that it will not have a third party involvement in the Kashmir issue, which it sees as a bilateral matter with Pakistan.
Despite this, Trump chose to put himself in a neutral position equating India and Pakistan.