S Jaishankar confirms India didn't ask Donald Trump to mediate over Kashmir amid Opposition uproar in RS

Prime Minister Narendra Modi made no request to US president Donald Trump to mediate on the Kashmir issue with Pakistan, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said in Rajya Sabha Tuesday amid controversy over the US leader's claim.

He stated, "The Shimla Agreement and the Lahore declaration provide the basis to resolve all issues between India and Pakistan bilaterally."

Jaishankar's statements in Rajya Sabha come amid US president Donald Trump's recent remarks that "(Prime Minister Narendra) Modi had asked him to mediate on the Kashmir issue when they met in Osaka, Japan on the sidelines of the G-20 Summit last month," which has led to controversy.

He reinstated that it has always been India's consistent position that 'all outstanding issues with Pakistan are to be discussed bilaterally only.' He also underlined that any engagement with Pakistan would require an end to cross-border terrorism.

 S Jaishankar confirms India didnt ask Donald Trump to mediate over Kashmir amid Opposition uproar in RS

S Jaishankar speaking in RS. ScreenGrab from Youtube

Donald Trump, who was meeting Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan in White House on Monday, said, "If I can help, I would love to be a mediator. If I can do anything to help, let me know. Trump was responding to a question, adding that he is ready to help, if the two countries ask for it.

While India has rejected Trump's claims, Opposition leaders in the country attacked Modi and asked him to come clean, questioning Modi as to why he was "mum" over US President Donald Trump's claim.

Opposition parties were, however, not satisfied by the statement of the External Affairs Minister and wanted the prime ,inister to come to the House and clarify. This led to a heated exchange between Opposition benches and the Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu, who adjourned proceedings till 2 pm.

Khan has also responded to the remark and said that the contentious issue between the two South Asian neighbours can never be resolved bilaterally.

"We are talking about 1.3 billion people on this earth. Imagine the dividends of peace if somehow that issue could be resolved," Khan said when the Fox news anchor read out the Indian statement that it has been India's consistent position that all outstanding issues with Pakistan are discussed only bilaterally.

 

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The Simla Agreement was a treaty signed between India and Pakistan on 2 July after the Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971. The agreement contains a set of guiding principles, mutually agreed to by India and Pakistan, which both sides would adhere to while managing relations with each other

While the Lahore Declaration was an agreement between India and Pakistan that called for both to reduce the risk of accidental or unauthorized use of nuclear weapons, among other confidence-building measure.

With inputs from agencies

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Updated Date: Jul 23, 2019 14:14:34 IST