Donald Trump says PM Modi asked him to mediate on Kashmir, MEA issues firm denial


US President Donald Trump on Monday reportedly said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had asked him to mediate on Kashmir.

Donald Trump

President Trump said at the joint press briefing with Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, “So, I was with Prime Minister Modi two weeks ago and we talked about this subject. He actually said ‘Would you like to be a mediator or arbitrator’, I said ‘Where?’ He said ‘Kashmir.’ Because this has been going on for many, many years. I was surprised for how long. I think they would like to see it resolved and you (Pakistani PM Imran Khan) would like to see it resolved. If I can help, I would love to be a mediator.”

Trump said that he would lobe to bring two ‘incredible countries’ with ‘very smart leadership’ together. His statement, however assumed significance since India has always resisted any move for foreign intervention in Jammu and Kashmir since it would mean playing into Pakistani hands.

Within minutes of Trump making stunning claims on Modi formally requesting him to mediate on Kashmir, the Indian foreign ministry issued a firm denial. India’s Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar took to Twitter to deny that Modi had approached Trump for mediation on Kashmir.

Kumar wrote, “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.”

A day later, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar told in the Rajya Sabha categorically denying Trump’s charges. He said, “I would like to put it on record in the House (Rajya Sabha) that no such request (on Kashmir) was made by the prime minister to the president of the United States. All issues with Pakistan has and will remain bilateral between India and Pakistan.”

Imran Khan, for his part, said that he had tried his best by making ‘all overtures to India’ to improve ties between the two countries. But, Khan said, his efforts had failed to make any headway.