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Saturday, Nov 16, 2019

Trump offer faces heat in India, US

The comments came after a storm in India, where opposition leaders in parliament demanded that Modi make a personal statement to parliament to confirm that there was no change in New Delhi’s longstanding policy of only direct talks with Islamabad.

india Updated: Jul 24, 2019 00:45 IST
Yashwant Raj
Yashwant Raj
Hindustan Times, Washington
“Surprised by reaction of India to Pres Trump’s offer of mediation to bring Pak and India to dialogue table for resolving Kashmir conflict which has held subcontinent hostage for 70 yrs,” Khan said on Twitter.
“Surprised by reaction of India to Pres Trump’s offer of mediation to bring Pak and India to dialogue table for resolving Kashmir conflict which has held subcontinent hostage for 70 yrs,” Khan said on Twitter. (Photo: Reuters)
         

US lawmakers distanced themselves from Donald Trump’s offer to mediate on Kashmir, with one of them slamming the US president for an “amateurish and embarrassing mistake”.

“I just apologized to Indian Ambassador @HarshShringla for Trump’s amateurish and embarrassing mistake,” Brad Sherman, head of the House foreign affairs committee’s Asia and the Pacific sub-committee, 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,” wrote the Democrat, who is the co-chair of the House India caucus, the largest country-specific caucus of the lower chamber.

The comments came after a storm in India, where opposition leaders in parliament demanded that Modi make a personal statement to parliament to confirm that there was no change in New Delhi’s longstanding policy of only direct talks with Islamabad.

Khan said Tuesday he was surprised by Delhi’s reaction.

“Surprised by reaction of India to Pres Trump’s offer of mediation to bring Pak and India to dialogue table for resolving Kashmir conflict which has held subcontinent hostage for 70 yrs,” Khan said on Twitter.

In US, Representative Eliot L Engel, chairman of the powerful House Committee on Foreign Affairs, also called the Indian envoy. He “reiterated his support for the longstanding US position on the Kashmir dispute, saying he supported dialogue between India and Pakistan, but reaffirmed that the dialogue’s pace and scope can only be determined by India and Pakistan”, his office said in a statement. “He reaffirmed that in order for dialogue to be meaningful, Pakistan must first take concrete and irreversible steps to dismantle the terrorist infrastructure on Pakistan’s soil.”

William Holding, the Republican co-chair of the India caucus, said in a statement, “Consistent with decades of US policy, we believe the dispute over Kashmir must be resolved bilaterally by India and Pakistan...we look forward to working with Prime Minister Modi and Indian officials to combat terrorism and extremism throughout the region.”