A top presidential advisor on Tuesday said that the US President “does not make up things” when asked about Donald Trump’s stunning claim on Kashmir, the remarks which have been strongly rejected by India.
Trump’s Chief Economic Advisor Larry Kudlow was replying to a question on the President’s claim that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had invited him to act as a “mediator” in the Kashmir dispute with Pakistan.
It is “a very rude question,” Kudlow told reporters at the White House when a journalist following up on the president’s remarks asked if it was made up. “The President doesn’t make things up,” he added.
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.
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’.”
Imran Khan welcomed these remarks.
In a bid to contain the damage created by President Trump, the US Acting Assistant Secretary Alice Wells clarified that the Trump administration welcomes India and Pakistan sitting down to resolve the issue and the “US stands ready to assist”.
Wells, Acting Assistant Secretary of the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs, acknowledged that Kashmir is a bilateral issue for both parties to discuss — echoing India’s consistent stand on the subject.
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.
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.