US President Donald Trump's repetitive claims that he is willing to mediate on the Kashmir issue between India and Pakistan has caused external affairs minister S Jaishankar to clarify that India would not agree to third-party mediation
Washington: Categorically rejecting any scope for third party mediation between India and Pakistan on Kashmir, external affairs minister S Jaishankar has said India's stand has been clear for decades and the two countries can discuss the issue bilaterally.
On the sidelines of the UN General Assembly session, the two leaders held bilateral meetings with dozens of world leaders.
"India has been clear for 40 odd years that we would not accept mediation... and that whatever has to be discussed has to be discussed bilaterally," Jaishankar told a group of Indian reporters on Wednesday when asked about US President Donald Trump's mediation remarks on Kashmir.
Trump, in the recent past, offered mediation between India and Pakistan on the Kashmir issue.
"I'm clearing in my mind as far as I'm concerned. My point is very simple. Whose issue (is this?). Mine. Who has to take the call? Me. If it is my issue, and I have to take the call; I will decide whether I want somebody's mediation or not. You can offer anything you like, but if I decide it is not relevant to me, then it does not happen," Jaishankar said.
"People say it (the issue) has gone up and down, where has it gone up and down? India has been very clear about it," he said when asked about the frequent offer of mediation by President Trump.
The external affairs minister said that in half of his meetings on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly session, the issue of recent developments in Jammu and Kashmir popped up.
"In terms of (issue of) Article 370, I would find it hard to quantify, but I would say maybe in about half my meetings it came up and maybe in half of my meetings it didn't come up. It wasn't that every guy who came to me came with that burning question," he said.
India has categorically told the international community that the scrapping of Article 370 was an internal matter and also advised Pakistan to accept reality.
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Last Updated 1, Oct 2019, 11:49 AM