India on Monday night denied US President Donald Trump's claim that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had asked him to mediate in resolving the Kashmir issue with Pakistan.
As he met Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan at the White House, Trump offered to be the “mediator” on the Kashmir issue and even said he has received a request to do so from Modi during a recent meeting with him.
External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said no such request has been made by Modi to the US president.
“We have seen President Trump's remarks to the press that he is ready to mediate, if requested by India and Pakistan, on the Kashmir issue. No such request has been made by Prime Minister to the US President,” he said.
He said 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 and the Lahore Declaration provide the basis to resolve all issues between India and Pakistan bilaterally” the MEA spokesperson said.
Trump claimed that Modi had asked him to mediate on the Kashmir issue when they met in Osaka, Japan on the sidelines of the G-20 Summit last month.
“If I can help, I would love to be a mediator. If I can do anything to help, let me know,” Trump said in response to a question, adding that he is ready to help, if the two countries ask for it.
“I was with Prime Minister Modi two weeks ago and we talked about this subject (Kashmir). And he actually said, ‘would you like to be a mediator or arbitrator?’ I said, ‘where?’ (Modi said) ‘Kashmir’,” Trump said.
India's consistent policy has been that Kashmir is a bilateral issue between India and Pakistan and there is no scope for any role by any third party.