Ruling out any role for a “third party” in the Kashmir issue, India rejected comments by U.S. President Donald Trump offering to mediate between India and Pakistan .
The U.S. President’s latest offer was made at a joint press appearance with Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan at the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, Switzerland, on Wednesday, repeating a previous offer made in June 2019.
“We have seen President Trump’s remarks. Let me once again reiterate that there is no role for any third party in the matter. If at all there are any bilateral issues between India and Pakistan to be discussed, it should be done bilaterally,” said MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar, adding that “the onus is on Pakistan to create a conducive atmosphere free from terror and violence”.
The Ministry of External Affairs has not yet confirmed a possible visit by Mr. Trump to India on February 24. However, when asked in Davos about the planned visit, reported by The Hindu last week, Mr. Trump did not deny it, only replying that as he has just met the Pakistan Premier, he would not require to visit Pakistan when he comes to India.
India's reiteration on the Kashmir issue came after Mr. Trump, while addressing the media with Mr. Khan, said the U.S. was watching the developments relating to Kashmir “very closely” and repeated his offer to “help” resolve the dispute.
The offer is the U.S. President’s fourth offer of mediation to help resolve the Kashmir issue since withdrawal of the special status of Jammu and Kashmir and its bifurcation into two union territories in August last by the government, leading to escalation in tensions between India and Pakistan.
“What's going on between Pakistan and India — if we can help, we certainly will be willing to. We have been watching it very closely, Mr. Trump said.
(With PTI inputs)