India snubs Trump’s fresh offer on Kashmir - Pakistan Today

India snubs Trump’s fresh offer on Kashmir

–Indian FM Jaishankar says he told counterpart Pompeo that Kashmir is bilateral matter between Islamabad and New Delhi

–Trump says, ‘If I can, if they wanted me to, I would certainly intervene’

WASHINGTON/NEW DELHI: India on Friday rejected US President Donald Trump’s fresh offer to mediate on the protracted Kashmir issue, saying any discussion on the disputed Himalayan region would be between India and Pakistan only.

Indian response came after President Trump reiterated his offer on Kashmir and said he was willing to intervene but a decision would be up to the leaders of both the countries.

This was the second time Trump showed interest in becoming an arbitrator in the Kashmir issue. Earlier, he had said that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had recently asked him whether he would like to be a mediator or arbitrator on Kashmir while speaking to reporters alongside Prime Minister Imran Khan at White House. However, India was quick to bin Trump’s claims despite the US’ assertion.

Trump, when questioned on Thursday by a reporter regarding India’s rejection of third-party mediation, asked: “Have they accepted the offer or not?” When told no, he said: “It is really up to Prime Minister [Narendra] Modi.”

“I met Prime Minister [Imran] Khan, I got along great with [the premier]. I think they are fantastic people — Khan and Modi — I mean, I would imagine they could get along very well,” he added.

“But if they wanted somebody to intervene, to help them […] and I spoke with Pakistan about that and I spoke frankly in India about it […] that battle has been going on for a long time.”

“If I can, if they wanted me to, I would certainly intervene,” Trump said.

‘TOLD POMPEO IT’S BILATERAL MATTER’:

Meanwhile, India’s foreign minister said he told Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that any discussion of the disputed Himalayan region would be between India and Pakistan only. The two men met on Friday on the sidelines of an Asian security forum in Bangkok. India has long refused outside attempts to resolve the conflict while Pakistan has sought international help.

“Have conveyed to American counterpart @SecPompeo this morning in clear terms that any discussion on Kashmir, if at all warranted, will only be with Pakistan and only bilaterally,” Minister for External Affairs S. Jaishankar said in a tweet. He said he and Pompeo had wide-ranging discussions on regional issues.

In a brief statement about the meeting, the State Department did not mention Kashmir or the mediation offer. It said Pompeo and Jaishankar “discussed our shared commitment to upholding the rule of law, freedom of navigation, and democratic values in the Indo-Pacific region.”

Trump said last month that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had recently asked him whether he would like to be a mediator or arbitrator on Kashmir, which has been the cause of two wars between India and Pakistan, something New Delhi has denied. Trump reiterated his offer to intervene on Thursday, telling reporters he is willing to mediate but a decision would be up to Modi and Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan.

“If I can, if they wanted me to, I would certainly intervene,” Trump said.

India and Pakistan have fought two wars over Kashmir, the Himalayan territory they both claim and which is divided between them. India accuses Pakistan of arming and training insurgents who have been fighting since 1989 for Kashmir’s independence from India or its merger with Pakistan. Islamabad denies the charge. About 70,000 people have been killed in the uprising and the ensuing Indian crackdown.

India snapped official dialogue with Pakistan on outstanding issues after Modi’s government came to power in 2014 demanding that Pakistan first end cross-border terrorism.



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