Trump as mediator

On 22/7/2019, Monday, Donald Trump met Imran Khan at White House. Journalists were present. Imran Khan raised the issue of Kashmir. Trump said “I was with Prime Minister Modi two weeks ago. We talked about this subject and he actually said “Would you like to be a mediator or arbitrator?” I said “Where?” He said “Kashmir.” Because this has been going on for many many years. I don’t know for how long… And if I can help I would like to be a mediator.”
India for long has held that Kashmir is a bilateral issue and there is no place for third party mediation. Trump’s statement created a stir in India. Raveesh Kumar, Spokesperson of Ministry of External Affairs, tweeted “We have seen @POTUS’s remarks to the press that he is ready to mediate, if requested by India and Pakistan, on Kashmir issue. No such request has been made by PM@narendramodi to US President. It has been India’s position that all outstanding issues with Pakistan would require an end to cross border terrorism. The Shimla Agreement & the Lahore Declaration provide the basis to resolve all issues between India & Pakistan bilaterally.”
In USA, Alice G. Wells, Acting Assistant Secretary in State Department’s Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs, tweeted “While Kashmir is a bilateral issue for both parties to discuss, the Trump administration welcomes #Pakistan and #India sitting down and the United States stands ready to assist.”
On 23/7/2019 Opposition parties demanded Modi come to Parliament and make a statement. They refused to listen to External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar. Jaishankar made a statement in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha:
“Sir, yesterday evening after the House had adjourned we heard remarks by President Donald Trump in a meeting with Prime Minister Imran Khan of Pakistan, to the press that he is ready to mediate, if requested by India and Pakistan, on Kashmir issue. I would like to categorically assure the House that no such request has been made by the Prime Minister to the US President. I repeat, no such request was made by the Prime Minister to the US President.

I would Sir, also reiterate that it has been India’s consistent position that all outstanding issues with Pakistan are discussed only bilaterally.

I would further underline that any engagement with Pakistan would require an end to cross border terrorism. Sir, let me conclude by emphasizing that the Shimla Agreement and the Lahore Declaration provide the basis to resolve all issues between India and Pakistan bilaterally. I hope in the view of my very specific and categorical responses that there is no confusion in the mind of anybody on this matter.”

Terrorism in Kashmir is a problem. Parties in Kashmir welcomed Trump’s statement. Farooq Abdullah congratulated Modi for seeking intervention of Trump. PDP, PDF and Hurriyat welcomed Trump’s mediation.
In USA, a journalist asked, Trump’s Chief Economic Advisor as Director of National Economic Council Lawrence Alban Kudlow, if the claim that Modi asked Trump to mediate on Kashmir was false. Kudlow replied “The President does not make things up. That is a very rude question in my opinion. I am going to stay out of that. It is outside of my lane. It is for Mr. Bolton, Mr. Pompeo and the President, so I am not going to comment on that. President does not make things up.”
India does not want any mediation on Kashmir. Bilateral talks have stalled over the years. When there is hope for peace between India and Pakistan, a terrorist incident takes place. Talks stop. SAARC meeting which was to take place in Pakistan has not happened. When Trump speaks well about India he is truthful for Indian media. Otherwise liar.
India could have won Kashmir War in 1948. India had stopped 55 crore rupees payment to Pakistan. Governor General Louis Francis Albert Victor Nicholas Mountbatten wanted Pakistan to have Kashmir because of Muslim majority. He met Mohandas Gandhi. Gandhi fasted that payment be made to Pakistan. Jawaharlal Nehru, Vallabhbhai and other ministers agreed. War continued. Mountbatten persuaded Nehru to take Kashmir issue to UNO. That made Kashmir issue international.
India hoped UNO will ask Pakistan to quit Kashmir. Instead UNO ordered cease fire. In 1950 Owen Dixon submitted The Dixon Plan. It assigned Ladakh to India, Pak Occupied Kashmir and Northern Territories to Pakistan, split Jammu between India and Pakistan and wanted plebiscite in Kashmir Valley. India rejected plebiscite. UNO is now known as UN.
In 1965 and 1971 Wars India could have got back territory under Pakistan. In 1966 under pressure from Alexey Kosygin Lal Bahadur Shastri signed Tashkent Agreement and India gave up the territory it had conquered. In 1972 Indira Gandhi signed Simla Agreement and gave up gains of war. India released all Pakistani Prisoners of War. India did not get back its Prisoners of War in Pakistan. This agreement decided that issues between India and Pakistan are to be solved bilaterally. Many are baffled why Indira Gandhi agreed to such an agreement.

Updated: July 24, 2019 — 2:33 pm

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