An adviser to US president Donald Trump has come out in his defence over the latter’s remarks regarding Indian PM Narendra Modi’s request to mediate in resolving the long-standing Kashmir dispute.
“He [Donald Trump] doesn’t make anything up……that’s a very rude question to ask,,” Chief Economic Adviser Larry Kudlow told reporters at the White House when a journalist following up on the president’s remarks asked if it was made up.
“I am going to stay out of that. It’s outside of my lane. It’s for Mr [National Security Adviser John) Bolton, Mr (Secretary of State Mike) Pompeo and President, so I am not going to comment on that. President does not make things up.”
Speaking to the media at the Oval Office where he hosted Prime Minister Imran Khan for the very first time on Monday, President Trump had offered to help mend strained ties between Pakistan and India, the two nuclear-armed neighbours.
“I was with 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’. Because this has been going on for many, many years… I think they would like to see it resolved and you [Imran Khan] would like to see it resolved. If I can help, I would love to be a mediator,” Trump had said.
The “prayers of over a billion people will be with you if you can mediate and resolve the situation,” PM Imran responded. Hours after his remarks, India’s Ministry of External Affairs released a statement that Modi said had said no such thing.
New Delhi, however, denied the claim, with the Ministry of External Affairs releasing a statement in this regard within half an hour.
“We have seen [Donald Trump’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 Narendra Modi to US President,” said India’s Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar.
“It has been India’s consistent position that all outstanding issues with Pakistan are discussed only bilaterally.”