India has categorically rejected claims made by United States President Donald Trump that Indian PM had requested him to meditate on the Kashmir issue. The spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs, Raveesh Kumar had rejected Trump’s claim last night itself when the news of the comment had appeared. Today external affairs minister S Jaishankar gave statements in both the houses of parliament stressing that Narendra Modi never requested Donald Trump to mediate in the Kashmir issue. The MoS to the Prime Minister’s office, Dr Jitendra Singh has also confirmed that no such request has been made by Narendra Modi.
However, the National Conference president Farooq Abdullah chose to ignore all these denials and assumed that Modi requested Trump to mediate on Kashmir. And unlike Congress which is demanding that Modi clarifies on the issue, Abdullah welcomed US mediation between India and Pakistan on the Kashmir issue, and congratulated Modi for the same.
Farooq Abdullah, National Conference: I congratulate Modi ji, he too wants to use everything to solve this issue that is creating tensions between India & Pakistan. (2/2) https://t.co/stuxrZ03w3
— ANI (@ANI) July 23, 2019
He said, “It is a matter of happiness that when PM Modi talked to Trump he had told him that Kashmir issue is complex & if there can be some help it would be good.”
He further congratulated PM Narendra Modi on seeking help and said, “I congratulate Modi Ji, he too wants to use everything to solve this issue that is creating tensions between India & Pakistan.”
Moreover, former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister and People’s Democratic Party (PDP) chief, Mehbooba Mufti, who has recently been threatening India with dire consequences if Articles 370 and 35A were scrapped, also craftily expressed her faith in the US President over the Indian Prime Minister by saying that though the US Presidents claims were refuted by the GOI, it marks a huge policy shift.
Despite GOI refuting idea of third party mediation on J&K, the disclosure made by Trump marks a huge policy shift. Even though USA doesn’t hold a great record in resolving protracted conflicts, hope both countries seize this opportunity to forge peace through dialogue.
— Mehbooba Mufti (@MehboobaMufti) July 23, 2019
The two Kashmir leaders are welcoming a move, which goes totally against India’s stated position and also provisions of the Shimla Agreement. The agreement clearly states that all differences between the two countries are bilateral, and hence there is no scope for any third-party mediation or arbitration. But still, and despite India reiterating that there will not be any third party and vehemently rejecting Trump’s version, they are rooting for Donald Trump to mediate on Kashmir.
Ever since Trump made the comments, there has been a systematic attempt to insinuate that Narendra Modi did make the request as Trump alleged. Numerous journalists and politicians jumped on the Trump bandwagon to take potshots at the Modi government and the Prime Minister himself.
Despite numerous clarifications by the Indian government, the opposition is adamant that Modi should issue a statement on the matter on the floor of the House. Chants of “Pradhan Mantri, jawab do, jawab do” were raised inside the Parliament as well and Opposition parties even staged a walk-out over the issue. The Congress party has even given an adjournment motion in the Lok Sabha. This was despite the fact that EAM S. Jaishankar had refuted Trump’s claims in the strongest of words.
It is appaling that while no Indian can ever believe that the Indian Prime Minister can ever make a pitch for mediation when it comes to Jammu and Kashmir, people from the opposition like the National Conference President, Farooq Abdullah and People’s Democratic Party (PDP) chief, Mehbooba Mufti, and the Congress of course, in their animosity for the Prime Minister are willing to rake up such theories without even blinking an eyelid, even if it costs us the country’s reputation.