After US President Donald Trump’s remarks on Kashmir were made, former diplomats believe that the statements would prove costly for Indo-US relations
Washington: Former diplomats believe that President Donald Trump's claim that Prime Minister Narendra Modi sought his mediation on the Kashmir issue will "damage" Indo-US relations.
India had already rejected Donald Trump's claim, which he made during a meeting with Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, saying India's consistent position has been that all outstanding issues with Pakistan are discussed only bilaterally.
Former US Ambassador to India, Richard Verma said "The President did a lot of damage today. His comments on Kashmir and Afghanistan were way off the mark."
According to Husain Haqqani, a former Pakistan Ambassador to the US, President Trump would soon learn the complexity of South Asian issues. "President Trump wants Pakistan's help with a deal on Afghanistan and has dangled the prospect of help with what he thinks Pakistan wants," he said.
"He praised Imran Khan like he praised North Korea's Kim Jong-un. This is his standard procedure in trying to get a deal," Haqqani noted.
"Just as he has not got a deal on the Korean peninsula, he will soon learn that South Asia's historical issues are also more complex than fashioning a real estate deal," Haqqani stated.
Both Haqqani and Verma were responding to questions on President Trump's remarks that he is ready to mediate between India and Pakistan on the Kashmir issue.
Donald Trump had said, "I was with Prime Minister Modi two weeks ago and we talked about this subject (Kashmir). And he actually said, "would you like to be a mediator or arbitrator?" I said, "where?" (PM Modi said) "Kashmir"."
In New Delhi, The Ministry of External Affairs was quick to deny that Prime Minister Modi ever asked for a mediation on Kashmir.
"We have seen President Trump's remarks to the press that he is ready to mediate, if requested by India and Pakistan, on the Kashmir issue. No such request has been made by the Prime Minister to the US President," MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said.
Former State Department diplomat Alyssa Ayres, who is now with the Council for Foreign Relations think tank, said Donald Trump did not come prepared for the meeting.
"I am worried about the President's lack of preparation for his meetings, and his impromptu statements. His statement on Kashmir today (that PM Modi sought mediation from Trump) was categorically denied by the Indian government within hours," Ayres said.
"Diplomacy requires careful attention to detail, to language, and to the facts of history. We did not see that today," she said in response to a question.
Nicholas Burns, who served as Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs under the Bush Administration and played a key role in the Indo-US civil nuclear deal, said the Indian government has been consistent for many years in rejecting the US as a mediator in the Kashmir dispute.
"Pakistan is in favour. Difficult for the US to consider if Delhi remains opposed," Burns said.
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Last Updated Jul 23, 2019, 12:00 PM IST