Modi never asked Trump to intervene

Source:AFP Published: 2019/7/23 22:56:17

India on Tuesday denied that Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked US President Donald Trump to mediate the decades-long Kashmir conflict with Pakistan, emphasizing that third-party involvement is unnecessary. 

Trump made the claim on Monday while speaking from the Oval Office where he ­hosted Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan.

The president said that during a meeting two weeks ago Modi had asked, "Would you like to be a mediator, or arbitrator [on Kashmir]."

Raveesh Kumar, India's foreign ministry spokesperson, responded, "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." 

Kumar added, "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."

India and Pakistan divided Muslim-majority Kashmir after their independence in 1947, but both claim it in its entirety. 

An insurgency on the Indian side over the past three decades has left more than 70,000 dead, mainly civilians.

"I honestly don't think Trump has the slightest idea of what he's talking about," Shashi Tharoor, a senior politician from India's main opposition Congress party, said on Twitter.

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