Minister of External Affairs S Jaishankar on Friday conveyed to the US that any discussion on Kashmir will be done only with Pakistan and bilaterally. His response comes after US President Donald Trump ruffled feathers with his claim that PM Narendra Modi had asked him to mediate in the Kashmir issue when the two leaders met “weeks ago” on the sidelines of G20 Summit. He said this during a joint press brief with Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan in Washington on July 22.
Jaishankar met US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Friday morning on the sidelines of the second day of 9th East Asia Summit Foreign Ministers meet in Bangkok, Thailand, in the first official meet between the two nations after Trump's comment.
Taking to Twitter, Jaishankar tweeted, "Have conveyed to American counterpart Mike Pompeo this morning in clear terms that any discussion on Kashmir, if at all warranted, will only be with Pakistan and only bilaterally."
Have conveyed to American counterpart @SecPompeo this morning in clear terms that any discussion on Kashmir, if at all warranted, will only be with Pakistan and only bilaterally.
— Dr. S. Jaishankar (@DrSJaishankar) August 2, 2019
The meeting took place shortly after Trump reiterated his offer to mediate between India and Pakistani government on the Kashmir issue but added that is up to PM Modi to accept the offer of assistance.
"It’s really up to Prime Minister Modi (to accept the offer of mediation)," said the US President on Thursday while confirming that India has turned down his offer of help on Kashmir.
“I met with Prime Minister Khan; I got along great with — I think they’re a fantastic people, Khan and Modi. I mean, I would imagine they can get along very well. But if they wanted somebody to intervene or to help them — and I spoke with Pakistan about that, and I spoke, frankly, to India about it. But that’s been going on, that (Kashmir) battle, for a long time,” Trump said.
When asked if India or Pakistan has accepted the offer on mediation, Trump said, “No, they have not.”
“If I can — if they wanted me to, I would certainly intervene,” he added.
Trump's first claim was dismissed by India with MEA Jaishankar "categorically" assuring the Parliament that no such suggestion was ever made. Citing the Shimla agreement and the Lahore declaration, the External Affairs Minister had said that there was no question of India seeking mediation by any third party in Kashmir as the issue was a bilateral one between the two nuclear-armed nations.