Written byShalini Ojha ·
US President Donald Trump's statement on Kashmir dispute created a furor in India, prompting Minister of External Affairs S Jaishankar to clarify Centre's stand in the Parliament.
On Trump's remark that PM Narendra Modi sought his help to resolve Kashmir crisis, Jaishankar said PM never made any such request.
Meanwhile, Opposition parties in both the houses demanded PM's reply on Trump's astonishing claims.
After meeting Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, who is on a maiden visit to the US, Trump said PM Modi asked his help for mediation to solve Kashmir crisis.
Trump's statements contradict New Delhi's long-standing stance that a third party will not play a role in resolving the dispute.
Unlike India, Pakistan has batted for the interference of a third party.
...that all outstanding issues with Pakistan are discussed only bilaterally. Any engagement with Pakistan would require an end to cross border terrorism. The Shimla Agreement the Lahore Declaration provide the basis to resolve all issues between India Pakistan bilaterally.2/2— Raveesh Kumar (@MEAIndia) July 22, 2019
Naturally, the matter resonated in the Parliament with the Opposition demanding answers.
"I would like to reiterate that all engagements with Pakistan will remain only bilateral. I would also like to reiterate that bilateral dialog is only possible when Pakistan ends cross-border terrorism. The Simla Agreement and the Lahore Declaration lay the path for any talks on the said issue," he said.
However, Jaishankar's statements didn't impress the Opposition. Chants of "Pradhanmantri jawab do, jawab do" filled the air, forcing Deputy Chairman Harivansh Narayan Singh to adjourn the House till 2 PM.
Before the proceedings started, UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi said Congress would seek a reply.
"You will see it in the House. We will raise the issue and Congress is raising now also," she said.
Meanwhile, the same issue resonated in the Lower House.
Congress' Manish Tewari said, "Yesterday's statement by US President Trump, in the presence of Pakistan PM Imran Khan, that PM Modi had asked him to mediate on the Kashmir issue, is like a blow to the unity of India."
As per Trump's statement, PM Modi "invited" him for mediation, underscored Tewari.
Lok Sabha: Opposition walked out of the House over their demand for Prime Minister's response on "statement of US President Trump that PM Modi had asked him to mediate in Kashmir issue" pic.twitter.com/sG2ADwbJkf— ANI (@ANI) July 23, 2019
Interestingly, Congress' Shashi Tharoor supported PM Modi. Tharoor, who served as MoS in External Affairs Ministry, said Trump doesn't know what he is talking about.
"It's impossible that PM Modi can ask such a thing, our policy has always been against mediation," Tharoor, who is an MP from Thiruvananthapuram, said.
Separately, NC leader Omar Abdullah opined Trump was talking "out of his hat".
President Trump says PM Modi asked him to mediate between India Pakistan on Kashmir!— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) July 23, 2019
If true, PM Modi has betrayed India’s interests 1972 Shimla Agreement.
A weak Foreign Ministry denial won’t do. PM must tell the nation what transpired in the meeting between him @POTUS
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