NEWS
23/07/2019 12:41 PM IST

Opposition Demands Modi's Clarification On Trump's Statement On Kashmir

Opposition created a ruckus in the Parliament, shouting ‘we want an answer’ from Prime Minister.

ASSOCIATED PRESS

US President Donald Trump’s claim that he was asked by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to mediate the Kashmir conflict with Pakistan has triggered a political storm in India. 

Opposition leaders are asking Modi for a clarification on the statement, even as the US walked back on it.

Trump had made the comments during a meeting with Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan in front of reporters.

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“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 during his talks with Khan, their first since the latter came to power in August, 2018.

The Ministry of External Affairs has categorically denied that Modi made any such request 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,” MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said.

The Opposition created a ruckus in the Parliament over the remarks, seeking a clarification directly from Modi. 

Members from the Congress and some other Opposition parties shouted slogans over the issue in the Lok Sabha. Congress members shouted ‘we want an answer’ and the party’s leader in the House Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said the prime minister should give an answer.

In the Rajya Sabha, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said Modi made no request to Trump to mediate on the Kashmir issue with Pakistan. He added all outstanding issues between India and Pakistan can be discussed only bilaterally.

Opposition parties, however, wanted the Prime Minister to come to the House and clarify. The Upper House has been adjourned till 2 pm following an uproar over the US president’s statement. 

Congress’ chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said reiteration of time tested line on ‘no mediation on Kashmir’ is welcome.

The US President’s remarks “relate to a meeting between him and PM Modi, wherein our PM had asked him to mediate”, he said in a tweet.

“Why is PM ‘mum’ on what transpired between the two heads of states, more so when it affects our sovereignty?” Surjewala asked.

TMC leader Derek O’Brien told NDTV, “We demand that PM Modi gives a clarification on US president’s statement.”

Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister and National Conference leader Omar Abdullah also tweeted:

(With PTI inputs)