Any discussion on Kashmir will be bilateral and only with Pakistan: Indian FM
United States President Donald Trump has reiterated his offer to mediate the Kashmir dispute between Pakistan and India, telling reporters he is willing to intervene but a decision would be up to the leaders of both the countries.
Last month, Trump, while talking to the media alongside Prime Minister Imran Khan at the White House, had said that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had recently asked him whether he would like to be a mediator or arbitrator on Kashmir — something New Delhi immediately denied.
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. India, however, again rejected President Trump’s offer.
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.
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”.
“I really feel that India should come… (to) the table. The US could play a big part, President Trump certainly can play a big part.” Indian Minister of External Affairs Subrahmanyam Jaishankar on Friday but rejected US President Donald Trump’s offer to mediate between Pakistan and India on Kashmir and said any discussion on the disputed region will take place bilaterally and only with Pakistan.
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Friday urged the United States to use its influence to persuade India to come to the table for a peaceful resolution of the Kashmir dispute.
Responding to US President Donald Trump’s reiteration of offer to mediate between Pakistan and India on the decades-long Kashmir conflict, Qureshi said India was avoiding the talks and did not appear willing to negotiate on the matter.