President Donald Trump offered to help resolve India and Pakistan’s long-running conflict over Kashmir — citing an invitation from Narendra Modi that the Indian government later denied.
“If you would want me to mediate or arbitrate, I would be willing to do that,” Trump told Pakistan’s prime minister, Imran Khan, at a White House meeting on Monday.
Khan said that Trump would have the prayers of millions of people if he succeeded. Trump said it was Modi who first asked him to intervene. “I was with Prime Minister Modi, two weeks ago, and we talked about this subject, and he actually said, ‘would you like to be a mediator or arbitrator?’ I said, ‘where?’ He said ’Kashmir.’”
Trump met with Modi at the Group of 20 summit in Osaka, Japan, at the end of June. But a spokesman for India’s Ministry of External Affairs, Raveesh Kumar, said on Twitter that “no such request” has been made by India’s prime minister
“It has been India’s consistent position that all outstanding issues with Pakistan are discussed only bilaterally,” he said in a pair of tweets.
Trump on Kashmir
“I’ve heard so much about Kashmir, it’s such a beautiful name, it’s supposed to be such a beautiful part of the world,” Trump said. “But right now there’s just bombs all over the place, they say everywhere you go, you have bombs, and it’s a terrible situation, been going on for many years. If I can do anything about that, let me know.”
The co-chairmen of the Congressional Caucus on India and Indian Americans, Brad Sherman, a Democrat from California, and George Holding, a Republican from North Carolina, didn’t embrace Trump’s offer of assistance.
“Consistent with decades of U.S. policy, we believe the dispute over Kashmir must be resolved bilaterally by India and Pakistan,” they said.
Last week, Trump bemoaned the demand on his time after he said South Korea’s president, Moon Jae-In, had asked him to mediate a dispute with Japan’s government.
“I said, ‘How many things do I have to get involved in?”’ Trump said on Friday. “It’s like a full-time job, getting involved between Japan and Korea.”