American 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 neighbors. 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 and 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
Now further discrediting Trump’s comments, India and United States have both indicated that they have no record of the Kashmir issue being discussed between the two leaders when they had met on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Osaka last month. According to sources the US is believed to have informally confirmed to the Indian side that neither the White House or the US Department of State have any of the official records of claims made by President Donald Trump. On the Indian side too, the Ministry of External Affairs has confirmed there was not even any remote discussion on Kashmir that could have set off a misunderstanding.
While India started 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 apologized 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
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.