India’s External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar says in Rajya Sabha that Prime Minister Modi never asked Trump for mediation on Kashmir…reports Asian Lite News
Amid Opposition demands for a clarification by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on US President Donald Trump’s claim that the former asked for his mediation on the Kashmir issue, the External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar on Tuesday stated in the Rajya Sabha that no such request was ever made.
“It has been India’s consistent position that all outstanding issues with Pakistan are discussed only bilaterally. Any engagement with Pakistan would require an end to cross-border terrorism,” the Minister said.
Jaishankar categorically denied Trump’s claim and assured the House that no such request was made by PM Modi.
Offering to be a “mediator” between India and Pakistan on the Kashmir issue, the US President had, in a meeting with Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday, asked him if he would agree to the proposal.
The main opposition Congress and the Communist Party of India (CPI) reacted sharply to the US President’s claim demanding an explanation from the Prime Minister on the issue.
“The entire country was shocked last night to hear US President Donald Trump tell Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan that, at the G20 Summit held recently in Osaka, the Prime Minister of India had requested him to mediate on Kashmir,” said Congress leader Anand Sharma.
Amid the uproar, Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu adjourned the proceedings.
Meanwhile, the Congress on Tuesday sought an explanation from Modi in the Lok Sabha over US President Donald Trump’s claim that Modi had asked him to mediate on the Kashmir dispute between India and Pakistan.
Soon after the House assembled for the day, Congress floor leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury raised the issue followed by slogans by other opposition members.
Raising the issue of US President Trump’s claims, Chowdhury said, “India has bowed before the US… We are not weak. The PM must reply.”
Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla interrupted and said: “This is a national and a very sensitive issue. The country’s integrity and security is involved. We need to speak in one voice.” He said he has received adjournment notice and assured the members that it can be discussed during the Zero Hour.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi said the External Affairs Minister will make a statement in the House. “We all know who took the issue to the UN,” he said in a veiled dig at Congress.
The Speaker said that there should not be any politics on the issue. “This is a serious issue. We need to have a constructive debate. Let’s discuss this after the Question Hour.”
Chowdhury insisted that the Prime Minister should reply but the Speaker intervened, saying, “Government will decide on who will reply.”