External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Friday, August 2, clarified that any discussion on Kashmir will only be conducted with Pakistan. His statement came a day after US President Donald Trump broached the contentious subject once again and said that he would "certainly intervene" if "they want."
"Have conveyed to the American counterpart, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, this morning in clear terms that any discussion on Kashmir, if at all warranted, will only be with Pakistan and only bilaterally," Jaishankar said at the sidelines of the ongoing ASEAN summit that is held in Bangkok.
Trump had earlier said that he would certainly intervene "if they wanted somebody to intervene, to help India and Pakistan to get along well and solve the Kashmir dispute'.
"It's really up to Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi (to accept the offer of mediation)," he added.
Trump had offered to mediate between the two countries at last week's press conference in Washington with the visiting Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan. He said that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had asked for his intervention during their meeting in the sideline of the G20 summit in Osaka, Japan last month.
"I was with Prime Minister Modi two weeks ago, and we talked about the subject. And he actually said, 'would you like to be a mediator or arbitrator', and I said 'where?', and he said 'Kashmir', because this has been going on for many, many years. I was surprised for how long it has been going on," Trump told reporters last week.
India slammed Trump's claim and said that all matters concerning Pakistan and the Kashmir dispute are discussed bilaterally. "No such request has been made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the US President," Jaishankar stated in the Rajya Sabha last week.
"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. The Simla Agreement & the Lahore Declaration provide the basis to resolve all issues between India & Pakistan bilaterally," he added.