New York, September 26: US President Donald Trump once again said he had offered to help India and Pakistan with “arbitration or mediation” on the issue of Kashmir.
Saying that he had discussed the issue of Kashmir with the leaders of both India and Pakistan during his meetings with them on the margins of the UN General Assembly, he said he had urged the two nuclear-armed countries to “work it out”.
Trump, addressing reporters here on Wednesday, said he had had “very productive conversations” with leaders of India and Pakistan.
“With respect to Pakistan and India, we talked about Kashmir. Whatever help I can be, I said, I offered, whether it’s arbitration or mediation or whatever it has to be.”
He said he would “do whatever he can because they are at very serious odds right now and hopefully that will get better”.
Trump had met Prime Minister Narendra Modi for a bilateral meeting on Tuesday while hemet Pakistan PM Imran Khan a day prior.
Trump and Modi’s meeting was their fourth since Modi came to power for a second term in May this year. A White House readout said Trump “encouraged” Modi to improve relations with Pakistan and fulfil his promise to better the lives of the Kashmiri people.
Asked about Trump’s remarks, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said, “Our position is very clear.”
“I think it has been articulated by the Prime Minister earlier. It was articulated yesterday by the foreign secretary, so that position remains,” he said.
“If you look at what he (foreign secretary) said yesterday, he said that India and Pakistan should both agree for any kind of mediation or arbitration,” Kumar told reporters at a briefing.
Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale had told reporters after the Modi-Trump meeting that the Prime Minister “made it clear that we are not shying away from talks with Pakistan”.
“But for that to happen, we expect some concrete steps to be taken by Pakistan. And we do not find any effort by Pakistan taking those steps,” Gokhale had said.
He had also said that Modi explained in detail to Trump the challenges faced by India because of terrorism, especially in Jammu and Kashmir, where 42,000 lives had been lost in the last 30 years due to the menace.
Pakistan has been trying to internationalise the Kashmir issue after India withdrew the special status of J&K on August 5 but New Delhi has asserted that the abrogation of Article 370 was its “internal matter”.