United States President Donald Trump, during the visit of Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday, July 22, claimed that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had asked him to arbitrate or mediate the Kashmir issue with India.
“I was with Prime Minister Modi two weeks ago and we talked about this subject (Kashmir). And he actually said, ‘would you like to be a mediator or arbitrator?’ I said, ‘where?’ (Modi said) ‘Kashmir’,” Trump said.
He added, “I think they (India) would like to see it resolved. I think you (Pakistan) would like to see it resolved. And if I can help, I would love to be a mediator. It should be….we have two incredible countries that are very, very smart with very smart leadership, (and they) can’t solve a problem like that. But if you would want me to mediate or arbitrate, I would be willing to do that.”
The remark caused uproar in India, considering the country’s official position on the Kashmir dispute has been that it is a bilateral issue with Pakistan and no third party intervention is required.
If PM Modi did ask Trump to intervene, it means he went directly against the official Indian stance.
The Ministry of External Affairs issued a statement on Tuesday, July 23, saying “We have seen President Trump’s remarks to the press that he is ready to mediate, if requested by India and Pakistan, on the Kashmir issue. No such request has been made by Prime Minister to the US President.”
“Any engagement with Pakistan would require an end to cross-border terrorism. The Simla Agreement and the Lahore Declaration provide the basis to resolve all issues between India and Pakistan bilaterally,” MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar added.