Indian PM urged to clarify Donald Trump’s Kashmir mediation claim


Opposition leaders in India have demanded Prime Minister Narendra Modi clarify his position in parliament about Donald Trump’s claim he was asked about mediating on India’s long-running dispute with Pakistan over Kashmir.

External affairs minister S Jaishankar said in parliament on Tuesday that Mr Modi made no such request to Mr Trump as the US president had claimed.

It has been India’s consistent position that all outstanding issues with Pakistan are discussed only bilaterally, Mr Jaishankar said.

“Any engagement with Pakistan would require an end to cross-border terrorism,” he said.

Donald Trump with Narendra Modi during a meeting on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Japan in June

Members in both houses of parliament demanded that Mr Modi make a statement on the issue.

Opposition leaders Anand Sharma and D Raja said it was a serious matter.

Mr Trump said Mr Modi recently asked him whether he would like to be a mediator or arbitrator on Kashmir.

The US president spoke to reporters in Washington before Monday’s meeting with Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan.

India and Pakistan have fought two wars over Kashmir, the Himalayan territory they both claim that is divided between them.

India accuses Pakistan of arming and training insurgents who have been fighting since 1989 for Kashmir’s independence from India or its merger with Pakistan.

Islamabad denies the charge.

India snapped official dialogue with Pakistan on outstanding issues after Mr Modi’s government came to power in 2014, demanding that Pakistan first end cross-border terrorism.

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