No question of mediation on Kashmir, says Rajnath
New Delhi: Refuting the claim by US President Donald Trump that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had asked him to help resolve the Kashmir issue between India and Pakistan, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Wednesday said that there was no question of mediation on the issue.
“As S Jaishankar ji (External Affairs Minister) said Kashmir issue was not discussed in President Trump and PM Modi meeting. There is no question of mediation in Kashmir issue as it will be against the Shimla agreement,” Singh said in the Lok Sabha.
“We cannot compromise with India’s self-respect,” he said, with Foreign Minister S Jaishankar by his side. He spoke moments after the Congress staged a walkout, protesting what they called the PM’s silence.
Singh’s remarks came as Opposition MPs continued to protest in the Lower House seeking reply from PM Modi on the statement by Trump on Kashmir.
‘President does not make things up’: Trump’s CEA on Kashmir issue
Washington, Jul 24: President Donald Trump “does not make up things”, a top presidential advisor said on Tuesday when asked about a question on his stunning claim that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had asked him to mediate on the Kashmir issue, remarks which have been strongly refuted by India.
It is “a very rude question,” Trump’s Chief Economic Advisor Larry Kudlow told reporters at the White House when a journalist following up on the president’s remarks asked if it was made up.
“The President does not make anything up. That’s a very rude question in my opinion. I am going to stay out of that. It’s outside of my lane. It’s for Mr (National Security Advisor John) Bolton, (Secretary of State Mike) Pompeo and President, so I am not going to comment on that. President does not make things up,” Kudlow said.
However, former Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Nicholas Burns, who played a key role in India-US civil nuclear deal during the Bush Administration, said, “This is embarrassing, to say the least, for President Trump. His claim that PM Modi asked him to mediate the Kashmir conflict denied categorically by Delhi. This is what happens in diplomacy when you make things up.” A day earlier, Trump offered to be the “mediator” between India and Pakistan on the Kashmir issue as he met Prime Minister Imran Khan at the White House.
Trump, who is known to make inaccurate statements, claimed that Prime Minister Modi asked him to mediate on Kashmir when they met in Osaka, Japan on the sidelines of the G-20 Summit last month.
India has not been engaging with Pakistan since an attack on the Air Force base at Pathankot in January of 2016 by Pakistan-based terrorists, maintaining that talks and terror cannot go together.
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar refuted that Prime Minister Modi ever made that request.
“I would like to categorically assure the House that no such request has been made by the Prime Minister to the US President. I repeat, no such request was made by the Prime Minister to the US President,” he said in a statement to the Parliament.
40 militant groups were operating in Pak: Imran Khan
Washington, Jul 24: Successive governments in Pakistan did not tell the truth to the United States, in particular in the last 15 years, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan said , adding that there were 40 different militant groups operating in his country.
“We were fighting the US war on terror. Pakistan has nothing to do with 9/11. Al-Qaeda was in Afghanistan. There were no militant Taliban in Pakistan. But we joined the US war. Unfortunately, when things went wrong, where I blame my government, we did not tell the US exactly the truth on the ground,” Khan said.
He was addressing a Capitol Hill reception hosted by Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, Chairperson of the Congressional Pakistan Caucus. Lee is also a member of the Congressional Caucus on India and Indian-Americans.
Part of the reason for this, Imran Khan explained to the lawmakers, was that the Pakistani governments were not in control.
“There were 40 different militant groups operating within Pakistan. So Pakistan went through a period where people like us were worried about could we survive it. So while the US expected us to do more and help the US win the war, Pakistan at that time was fighting for its own existence,” he said.
Khan said it was very important that he met President Donald Trump and other top American leaders.
“We have explained to them that the way forward is: number one, the relationship has to be based on mutual trust,” he said, claiming that he would be honest in telling the US what Pakistan could do in the peace process.
Pakistan, Khan said, was trying its best to get the Taliban on the table to start this dialogue. “So far, we have done pretty well,” he said and cautioned the US that the process was not going to be easy.
“Do not expect this to be easy, because it is a very complicated situation in Afghanistan. But rest assured, we would be trying our best. The whole country is standing behind me. The Pakistan Army, the security forces, all are behind me. We all have one objective and it is exactly the same objective as the US, which is to have a peaceful solution as quickly as possible in Afghanistan,” Khan said.
In his last public engagement before winding up his three-day US visit, Imran Khan hoped that the US-Pak relationship was now at a different level.
“It was painful for us to watch the mistrust between the two countries,” he rued, adding, “We hope that from now onwards, our relationship will be completely different.”