In Trump's presence, Modi says Indo-Pak issues are 'bilateral'
Setting the record straight, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said all issues between India and Pakistan are bilateral and there is no need to bother a third country. He made these remarks in France in the presence of US President Donald Trump, who has offered mediation on Kashmir issue three times. The leaders of both countries met on the sidelines of G7 Summit.
Interestingly, President Trump also agreed with PM Modi. He said, "We spoke last night about Kashmir, Prime Minister really feels he has it under control. They speak with Pakistan and I'm sure that they will be able to do something that will be very good." President Trump and PM Modi met for the first time after New Delhi revoked Article 370.
#WATCH: Prime Minister Narendra Modi during bilateral meeting with US President Donald Trump at #G7Summit says,"All issues between India Pakistan are bilateral in nature, that is why we don't bother any other country regarding them." pic.twitter.com/H4q0K7ojZT— ANI (@ANI) August 26, 2019
Referring to the shared history, PM Modi said both the countries were together before 1947. "I'm confident that we can discuss our problems & solve them, together. It is most important to fight poverty and work towards the betterment of our people," he said. He added he expressed the same emotion while talking to Pakistan's PM Imran Khan after the latter was elected.
Notably, New Delhi's stand on dialog with Pakistan has been consistent for years now. The Centre, led by BJP, has many times reiterated that Islamabad has to first do something about home-grown terrorism, before starting conversations with India. The tensions between both countries peaked after February's Pulwama attack and further worsened after India withdrew the special status of Jammu and Kashmir.
To recall, the US came into the picture when Trump made stunning remarks last month. Addressing press with Khan (on his maiden visit to the US), Trump claimed PM Modi "sought his help" in mediation, a statement Centre denied. Few days after that, Trump made the same offer again. And last week, offering intervention for the third time, Trump said Kashmir situation involves religion.
The discussion on Kashmir was bound to come up during PM Modi and Trump's meeting. Though Washington considers Kashmir India's "internal matter", a high-ranking US official said Trump would like to know from PM Modi what he plans to do about the restrictions. The state was put under lockdown to deal with any fallout of the massive move. The two also discussed trade.
#WATCH France: US President Donald Trump jokes with Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the bilateral meeting on the sidelines of #G7Summit. Trump says, "He (PM Modi) actually speaks very good English, he just doesn't want to talk" pic.twitter.com/ee66jWb1GQ— ANI (@ANI) August 26, 2019