Hours after President Donald Trump claimed that Narendra Modi asked him to mediate in the Kashmir dispute, US Congressman Brad Sherman in a tweet said that everyone knows the Indian prime minister would never suggest third-party mediation on Kashmir. Sherman said that he "apologised" to the Indian ambassador to the US for the president's 'embarrassing comments'.
Calling the US president's remarks on Kashmir issue "amateurish" and "delusional", Sherman said that anybody who understands South Asian foreign policy would know that such a request was not only impossible to come from India, but also that Trump's comments were embarrassing for the United States.
"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," tweeted Sherman.
Sherman's remarks came hours after Trump said that Modi had asked him to act as a mediator to resolve the Kashmir issue. "So I was with Prime Minister Narendra Modi two weeks ago and we talked about this subject. And he actually said, would you actually like to be a mediator or arbitrator? Did I say, where? He said because this has been going for many, many years. I was surprised at how long it has been going on," said Trump, who was hosting Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan at the White House.
"It should be resolved, so he has to think the same thing, so maybe I will speak to him and we will see what we can do," he added.
Who is Brad Sherman?
Sherman represents California's San Fernando Valley and has been in the US House of Representatives since 1997, serving his 11th term in Congress.
Sherman, who has also served as the Ranking Member of the Asia Pacific Subcommittee in the House Foreign Affairs Committee, holds vast experience on India-US ties and the situation in the subcontinent over the years. Sherman had also batted for reducing US aid to Pakistan citing the local government's insincerity in dealing with terrorism.
"We have relations with I think close to 200 countries. The default position is we don't give them money. So those who suggest aid to Pakistan have got to show that there is a strong justification for doing so. The evidence is not encouraging. General Pervez Musharraf spoke on television in February about how Pakistan supported - provided support for Lashkar-e-Taiba, also known as LeT, and to the JeM, and essentially said terrorism was fine as long as it is directed at India," Sherman said.
Arguing in favour of pulling the plug on constant US monetary support to Pakistan, that started in the wake of the war in Afghanistan, Sherman said, "Regardless of how we answer the friend or foe question, our relationship with Pakistan is important. But keep in mind, you would think we would only provide aid to those countries where we don't have to ask the question: Friend or foe?... Providing more assistance to a government that has supported terrorists and has shown itself not very capable or serious about combating terrorism may not be the very best use of taxpayer money," Sherman had argued.
He was also the US lawmaker to have led an effort along with Congressmen Ted Poe and Eni Faleomavaega to request that Congressional leadership invite Prime Minister Narendra Modi to address a joint session of Congress during Modi's June 2016 visit to the United States.
Sherman also introduced an Amendment to the US Constitution, that seeks to expand defence cooperation between the United States and India. The legislative proposal to the House FY 2020 to amend the National Defense Authorisation Act (NDAA) that would greatly enhance the US-India relationship, was co-sponsored by Congressman Joe Wilson, Ami Bera, Ted Yoho, George Holding, Ed Case, and Raja Krishnamoorthi. The amendment, which called upon the executive branch to expand defence ties with India, was passed in the House of Representatives this month.
Apart from foreign policy, Sherman, who was a tax law specialist by profession, is known as a strong advocate for fiscal responsibility, and a balanced budget including social welfare policies.
Updated Date: Jul 23, 2019 10:24:18 IST