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Tuesday 21 January 2020

Kashmir: Democrat Representative takes exception to Trump

Everyone knows PM Modi would never suggest such a thing. Trump’s statement is amateurish and delusional. And embarrassing: Democrat House of Representatives Member Bradley James Sherman

New Delhi: Not only India but also politicians in the US have taken exception to their president’s claim that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had asked him to mediate between India and Pakistan on the Kashmir issue. Brad (Bradley James) Sherman, member of the US House of Representatives, said it was unbelievable that Prime Minister Modi would say such a thing. Anybody who is knowledge about the affairs of south Asia knows India’s long-held position on the affair that it would not accept mediation by any third party, Sherman said.

“Everyone who knows anything about foreign policy in South Asia knows that #India consistently opposes third-party mediation re #Kashmir. Everyone knows PM Modi would never suggest such a thing. Trump’s statement is amateurish and delusional. And embarrassing,” Sherman wrote on Twitter.

Trump’s statement is misleading and not serious, Sherman said, adding that it was embarrassing for the US, too. The House of Representaives member said he had apologised to Indian Ambassador to the US Harsh Shringla over his president’s statement.

The US has officially reacted to India’s denial, too. In a statement, it said that it appreciated India’s position of no intervention by a third party in the matter of Kashmir. The United States supports India’s position of no talks with Pakistan until the Islamic state stopped sponsoring terrorists, the statement read.

On the domestic front, the government received an endorsement from an unexpected quarter. Instead of cornering the treasury benches in Parliament like his party colleagues, Congress leader Shashi Tharoor disagreed with US President Donald Trump’s assertion. He said he believed Trump had no idea what he was talking about. Either he has not been informed about the issue or he did not quite get what Prime Minister Modi had told him, Tharoor said. The Congress leader added that the Ministry of External Affairs should issue a clarification in this regard (Foreign Affairs Minister S Jaishankar has rubbished President Trump’s claim already).

The matter pertains to the Monday meeting of Trump with Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, after which the US President had said at a press conference that, two weeks ago (on the sidelines of the G20 summit), Prime Minister Modi had asked him to mediate between India and Pakistan to resolve the Kashmir issue. Trump had said further that both India and Pakistan were looking for a solution to the issue that is more than 70 years old. “I would be happy to media,” Trump had said.

Elsewhere, in Parliament, the Congress was not happy with MEA S Jaishankar’s statement in the Rajya Sabha. The opposition party demanded that none other than the prime minister should come clean on the affair.

Congress spokesman Randeep S Surjewala wrote in a tweet, “President Trump says PM Modi asked him to mediate between India & Pakistan on Kashmir! If true, PM Modi has betrayed India’s interests & 1972 Shimla Agreement. A weak Foreign Ministry denial won’t do. PM must tell the nation what transpired in the meeting between him & @POTUS.”

The tweet was actually a copy of Congress head Rahul Gandhi’s tweet.

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