Trump and the ‘K’ word


The claim by U.S. President Donald Trump that Prime Minister Narendra Modi broached the subject of Mr. Trump’s mediation on the Kashmir issue during the meeting of the two leaders in Osaka in June, is stunning (Page 1, “I would love to be a mediator on Kashmir: Donald Trump”, July 23). Is it a white lie? Or is it a political gimmick? Even if India had sought his assistance, the fact that the U.S. has all along been providing military assistance to Pakistan would by itself make America very unsuitable as a mediator.

B.V.K. Thampi,


Mr. Trump’s offer could well be a trap, a product of his meeting with the Pakistan Prime Minister. The U.S. has a history of long friendship with Pakistan. There may be a hitch at present in their relationship but self-interest has always been a priority in American foreign policy. The offer may be a part of a strategy relating to Pakistan-China policy. Once we are drawn to the mediation table, our contention of sovereignty over Kashmir will be jeopardised.

S. Rajagopalan,


It is not clear why the Prime Minister himself does not issue a clarification. How does the Minister of External Affairs know exactly what transpired between Mr. Modi and Mr. Trump? Mr. Modi needs to remove the miasma of doubt by issuing a statement in Parliament. India should also be sure of its position on Kashmir. If it is a bilateral issue it cannot be an internal problem of India and vice-versa. We should not be averse to using the good offices by a third party if this is what helps in resolving the major issue bedevilling the subcontinent.

K.R. Jayaprakash Rao,


It is significant that as no less than the POTUS himself has named the Indian Prime Minister as personally having sought Mr. Trump’s meditation, it is in the fitness of things and in keeping with the best parliamentary traditions that the Prime Minister offers his own clarification on the floor of the House even if it means causing personal embarrassment to Mr. Trump, who is not known to observe diplomatic niceties. If Mr. Modi chooses to remain silent fearing a diplomatic backlash from the U.S., a doubt about who is economical with the truth will gain ground hurting the Prime Minister’s credibility.

S.K. Choudhury,


India may maintain that the Kashmir issue should be resolved bilaterally but the fact is that there have been regular global interventions as far as India-Pakistan relations are concerned. During the Kargil intrusions in 1999, it was the Clinton administration which led Pakistan to step back. Also after 9/11, it was the U.S. and the U.K. which helped in blacklisting Pakistan-based terror outfits. India has relied on global support when it comes to cornering Pakistan. Therefore, Mr. Trump wanting to be a mediator should not raise hackles.

Harvinder Singh Chugh,

Jalandhar, Punjab

Mr. Trump is turning out to be an inexperienced statesman, examples being his meddling in Obamacare, his unilaterally scrapping the Iran nuclear deal, verbal attacks on European leaders and his mishandling of the immigrants issue in the U.S. Mr. Trump needs to set his own house in order first before he can even think of mediating on Kashmir.

T. Anand Raj,


The U.S. has most often been at the wrong end of understanding the geopolitical affairs of developing countries, Vietnam, Iran and Iraq being examples. America’s attempt to help these countries has ended in disastrous results. In the Kashmir conflict, a mediator must understand the socio-cultural context of the State as well as its history which Mr. Trump is clearly unaware of.

I am sure that the Prime Minister, despite his shortcomings, did not raise the question of mediation seriously with Mr. Trump. Observing the U.S.’s previous attempts at mediation, it would be much better if the process involved only India and Pakistan even if it takes another 70 years.

Hannah Jacob P.,



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Printable version | Feb 28, 2020 3:40:23 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/letters/trump-and-the-k-word/article28692649.ece

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