New Delhi । Amid Opposition demands for a clarification by PMNarendra Modi on US President Donald Trump’s claim that the former asked for his mediation on the Kashmir issue, the External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar stated in the Rajya Sabha that no such request was ever made.
“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 Minister said.
Jaishankar categorically denied Trump’s claim and assured the House that no such request was made by PM Modi.
The main opposition Congress and the Communist Party of India (CPI) reacted sharply to the US President’s claim demanding an explanation from the Prime Minister on the issue.
“The entire country was shocked last night to hear US President Donald Trump tell Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan that, at the G20 Summit held recently in Osaka, the Prime Minister of India had requested him to mediate on Kashmir,” said Congress leader Anand Sharma.
Amid the uproar, Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu adjourned the proceedings.
The matter caused uproar in Lok Sabha too. The Congress sought an explanation from Prime Minister soon after the House assembled for the day, Congress floor leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury raised the issue followed by slogans by other opposition members.
Raising the issue of US President Trump’s claims, Chowdhury said, “India has bowed before the US… We are not weak. The PM must reply.”
Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla interrupted and said, “This is a national and a very sensitive issue. The country’s integrity and security is involved. We need to speak in one voice.” He said he has received adjournment notice and assured the members that it can be discussed during the Zero Hour.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi said the External Affairs Minister will make a statement in the House. “We all know who took the issue to the UN,” he said in a veiled dig at Congress.
However Congress Leadeer Shashi Tharoor supported the Prime Minister Narendra Modi by saying that Trump must have misunderstood what Modi was saying.
I honestly don't think Trump has the slightest idea of what he's talking about. He has either not been briefed or not understood what Modi was saying or what India's position is on 3rd-party mediation. That said, MEA should clarify that Delhi has never sought his intercession. https://t.co/DxRpNu6vw2
— Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) July 22, 2019
Controversy started after US President Trump offered mediation on Kashmir issue and claimed that Prime Minister Modi had broached the subject with him during their meeting in Osaka, Japan, last month.