This comes just days after US President Donald Trump’s recent controversial remark.
New Delhi: India on Friday rejected US President Donald Trump’s repeated offers of mediation on the Kashmir issue, with New Delhi telling Washington “in clear terms that any discussion on Kashmir, if at all warranted, will only be with Pakistan, and only bilaterally”. This was conveyed by external affairs minister S. Jaishankar to US secretary of state Michael R. Pompeo during a bilateral meeting in Bangkok where both are attending an Asean meeting.
This comes just days after US President Donald Trump’s recent controversial remark where he claimed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had sought his mediation on the Kashmir issue. New Delhi had swiftly denied that claim. But the US President doesn’t seem to have taken the cue, as he said again on Thursday that he would “certainly intervene” between India and Pakistan on Kashmir if the two nations wanted him to.
After his bilateral meeting with Mr Pompeo on Friday, Mr Jaishankar tweeted: “(I) have conveyed to American counterpart @SecPompeo this morning in clear terms that any discussion on Kashmir, if at all warranted, will only be with Pakistan and only bilaterally. (There were) wide ranging discussions with @SecPompeo on regional issues.”
Amid reports from Washington recently that the United States had approved military sales worth $125 million to result in end-use monitoring of F-16 fighter aircraft of the Pakistan Air Force, India “expressed grave concern” and lodged a strong protest
with the United States over any resumption of military assistance to Islamabad. The US had informed India, however, that the “proposed sale does not indicate any change in US policy of maintaining a freeze in military assistance to Pakistan”, New Delhi had said on Thursday.
PTI reports from Washington on Friday said President Trump had said Thursday he would “certainly intervene” between India and Pakistan on Kashmir if they wanted him to. But he said it was up to India and Pakistan to resolve the Kashmir issue but he was ready to assist if the two wanted him to help in resolving the issue.
When asked how would he “want to resolve the Kashmir issue”, Mr Trump was quoted by PTI as saying: “If I can, if they wanted me to, I would certainly intervene.”
“It’s really up to Prime Minister Modi (to accept the offer of mediation)... Have they (India) accepted the offer or not?”, Mr Trump was quoted saying, responding to a question on India rejecting his offer.
“I think they are fantastic people — Khan and Modi — I mean. I would imagine they could get along very well, but if they wanted somebody to intervene, to help them ... I spoke with Pakistan about that and I spoke frankly in (sic) India about it,” Mr Trump said. He noted the issue of Kashmir had been going on for a long time. “That’s been going on, that battle, for a long time,” he said.