US President Donald Trump has made it clear that his offer of mediation on Kashmir is not on the table anymore, India’s Ambassador to the US, Harsh Vardhan Shringla said on Monday.
Reiterating the US stand on the issue, Shringla 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.
On July 22, US President Donald Trump had made a stunning claim that Narendra Modi had requested him to mediate in the Kashmir issue, which India has strongly denied.
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’.”
The next day, EAM Jaishankar “categorically assured” the Parliament that the PM never made such a request.
He further said the Simla Agreement and the Lahore Declaration provide the basis to resolve all the issues between India and Pakistan bilaterally.
Under the 1972 Simla Agreement, India has time and again maintained that it will not have a third party involvement in the Kashmir issue.
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.
Days after, on August 6, the Indian Parliament approved provisions to scrap Article 370 and passed a bill to bifurcate the state into two Union Territories.
Reacting on the development, the US said that there is no change in its policy on Kashmir and called on India and Pakistan to maintain calm and restraint.
Also, top US lawmakers urged Pakistan to refrain from any “retaliatory aggression” against India and take “demonstrable action” against terrorist groups within its territory.
This came hours after Pakistan expelled Indian High Commissioner Ajay Bisaria and suspended trade with India over the revocation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir.
(With inputs from PTI)