02:52 GMT +319 August 2019
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    India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in conversation with U.S. president Donald Trump during a working session of the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany, Saturday, July 8, 2017

    India Rubbishes Trump's Remarks on Kashmir, Says PM Modi Never Asked for His Mediation

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    New Delhi (Sputnik): The Indian government on Tuesday categorically rejected US President Donald Trump’s assertion that he had been approached by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to mediate on the Kashmir dispute with Pakistan.

    In a firm short statement delivered in Parliament this morning, India's External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar said, "I would like to categorically assure the House that no such request has been made by Prime Minister Modi. 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."

    Minister Jaishankar reminded members of Parliament that all issues between India and Pakistan have been and will continue to be discussed within the ambit of the Shimla Agreement of July 1972 and the Lahore Declaration of February 1999.

    Before Jaishankar's announcement, opposition members vociferously raised the issue, clamouring for a statement by Prime Minister Modi, terming it a serious matter of national concern and demanded that only he respond to President Trump's so-called "lie".

    On Monday, President Trump stunned India by saying that Prime Minister Modi had sought his help in resolving the Kashmir issue with Pakistan on the sidelines of the G20 Summit held in June in the Japanese city of Osaka.

    "I was with Prime Minister Modi two weeks ago, and we talked about this subject [Kashmir]. And he actually said, "would you like to be a mediator or arbitrator?" I said, "where" [Modi said] "Kashmir," President Trump stated during his joint media interaction with visiting Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan.

    Prime Minister Khan welcomed the remarks and said, "Mr President, I can tell you that, right now, you would have the prayers of over a billion people if you can mediate and resolve this issue."

    The Indian Ministry of External Affairs was quick to deny that Mr Modi had ever asked Mr Trump to mediate on Kashmir.

    "We have seen [Mr. Trump's] remarks to the press that he is ready to mediate if requested by India & Pakistan, on the Kashmir issue. No such request has been made by PM Narendra Modi to US President," said the spokesperson of the External Affairs Ministry.

    Meanwhile, the Trump Administration has launched a damage control exercise, with the State Department spokesman on Tuesday saying "While Kashmir is a bilateral issue for both parties to discuss, the Trump administration welcomes Pakistan and India sitting down and the United States stands ready to assist."

    Pakistan must continue taking "sustained and irreversible" steps against terrorism to facilitate a dialogue with India in the future, the State Department spokesperson said.

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    Tags:
    Kashmir, Pakistan, United States, Imran Khan, Donald Trump, Narendra Modi, India
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