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Jaishankar rebuts Trump’s Kashmir claim; Oppn demands PM Modi’s statement

Hindustan Times, New Delhi | ByHT Correspondent
Jun 03, 2020 11:07 PM IST

The foreign minister added that it has been India’s consistent position that all outstanding issues with Pakistan are discussed only bilaterally.

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said on Tuesday that no request was made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to US President Donald Trump regarding any mediation in Kashmir.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi (L) with US President Donald Trump during the G20 Osaka Summit in Osaka on June 28, 2019.(AFP file photo)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi (L) with US President Donald Trump during the G20 Osaka Summit in Osaka on June 28, 2019.(AFP file photo)

“I would like to categorically assure the House that no such request has been made by PM Modi,” S Jaishankar said in identical statements in both Houses of Parliament, reports ANI.

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In Lok Sabha, the Opposition shouted slogans demanding a statement from PM Modi and staged a walkout.

Watch | Opinion: Can Trump act on his Kashmir ‘slip’ or mere words to appease Pak?

 

Earlier in Rajya Sabha, the minister said that it has been India’s consistent position that all outstanding issues with Pakistan are discussed only bilaterally. “The Shimla Agreement & the Lahore declaration provide the basis to resolve all issues between India & Pakistan bilaterally,” the minister said, a day after Trump in initial remarks with visiting Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday offered to help resolve the Kashmir issue between India and Pakistan.

Read: Ex-diplomats feel Trump’s Kashmir mediation remarks may hit Indo-US relations

Trump said that PM Modi had made a similar request when they met a few weeks ago — a claim that was rejected by India.

“If I can help, I would love to be a mediator,” Trump said, following up on Khan’s request during a joint appearance in the White House that he would like the United States to help resolve the Kashmir issue. 

The US, however, on Tuesday backtracked saying it would assist in India-Pakistan talks if both sides wanted and that Kashmir was a ‘bilateral issue’.

The United States went on to sternly remind Pakistan of its own responsibility and accountability in the resolution of the dispute, saying it needs to deliver peremptorily on counter-terrorism. “We believe the foundation for any successful dialogue between India and Pakistan is based on Pakistan taking sustained and irreversible steps against militants and terrorists on its territory,” said a US state department spokesperson.

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