US President Donald Trump by his loose and vacuous comments has again stirred controversy. During a press briefing with Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, Donald Trump has offered to mediate between India and Pakistan and said that PM Modi had asked him to help with disputed “disputed Kashmir” region and also added he would “love to be a mediator”.
US President Donald Trump says PM Narendra Modi has also asked him to help with "disputed Kashmir" region, he would "love to be a mediator": Reuters pic.twitter.com/PcE7dnq4rr
— ANI (@ANI) July 22, 2019
However taking note of these comments, India has reacted firmly and has again reiterated its stand of bilateral resolution of all outstanding issues between the two neighbours. Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar has stated India’s position and also clarified that no such request for mediation was made by PM Modi. He tweeted, “We have seen @POTUS’s remarks to the press that he is ready to mediate, if requested by India & Pakistan, on Kashmir issue. No such request has been made by PM @narendramodi to US President. It has been India’s consistent position that all outstanding issues with Pakistan are discussed only bilaterally. Any engagement with Pakistan would require an end to cross border terrorism. The Shimla Agreement & the Lahore Declaration provide the basis to resolve all issues between India & Pakistan bilaterally.”
…that all outstanding issues with Pakistan are discussed only bilaterally. Any engagement with Pakistan would require an end to cross border terrorism. The Shimla Agreement & the Lahore Declaration provide the basis to resolve all issues between India & Pakistan bilaterally.2/2
— Raveesh Kumar (@MEAIndia) July 22, 2019
While India stated its stand, Several US lawmakers also distanced themselves from the comments made by the US President. US Congressman Brad Sherman had tweeted, “Everyone who knows anything about foreign policy in South Asia knows that #India consistently opposes third-party mediation re #Kashmir. Everyone knows PM Modi would never suggest such a thing. Trump’s statement is amateurish and delusional. And embarrassing.” He also added that he apologised to Indian Ambassador Harsh Shringla for Trump’s amateurish and embarrassing mistake.
— Rep. Brad Sherman (@BradSherman) July 22, 2019
Eliot L Engel, Chairman of House Committee on Foreign Affairs also called on Indian Ambassador and said, “I support dialogue on Kashmir, but the pace and scope can only be determined by India and Pakistan” ultimately recognizing the bilateral nature of various issues between the rogue nation and India.
Even the White House Press release did not mention Trump’s remarks on Kashmir, clearly indicating White House’s damage control efforts.
White House releases press release about Trump-Imran Khan meeting. President Trump's remarks on Kashmir not mentioned in release. https://t.co/guAb4gzkJR
— ANI (@ANI) July 22, 2019
Senior BJP leader, Ram Madhav also called out US President for his comments and tweeted, “POTUS’ statement on Kashmir underscores the biggest problem in the US system today. With expert India and South Asia hands like Lisa Curtis in White House n State Dept if he makes such a statement then there is something fundamentally wrong.”
POTUS’ statement on Kashmir underscores the biggest problem in the US system today. With expert India and South Asia hands like Lisa Curtis in White House n State Dept if he makes such a statement then there is something fundamentally wrong. https://t.co/3PAfq5QDJ9
— Ram Madhav (@rammadhavbjp) July 23, 2019
However, for Donald Trump, it is not the first time he has been called out for his loose comments and is known to be a serial offender in this regard and now after his immature comments on Kashmir even the US administration has been forced to go on the defensive.
India has for long maintained that all the outstanding issues between India and Pakistan are to be resolved bilaterally. Shimla Pact signed between Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and President Zulfikar Ali Bhutto of Pakistan on 2nd July 1972 clearly stated that “That the two countries are resolved to settle their differences by peaceful means through bilateral negotiations.”
The Lahore Declaration signed during the Atal Bihari Vajpayee Government in February 1999 had also reiterated India’s stand and stated that both shall intensify efforts for an early and positive outcome of the “agreed bilateral agenda”. Though all the outstanding issue are poised to be resolved bilaterally, Kashmir certainly is an internal matter for India, and Pakistan’s involvement in the issue amounts to nothing more than a foreign intervention on India’s sovereignty.
PM @narendramodi India MUST tell US President @realDonaldTrump: We have neither any need nor any obligation to talk or negotiate with Pakistan over Kashmir. Simply because Kashmir is not a bilateral issue. Pakistan, the nuclear jihadi terror cartel state is an international issue pic.twitter.com/DSK095p9PX
— Aarti Tikoo Singh (@AartiTikoo) July 23, 2019