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Trump’s Kashmir remarks rock Parliament
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Trump’s Kashmir remarks rock Parliament

Agency News

New Delhi, Jul 23 : The US President Donald Trump's statement that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has asked him to 'mediate' on Kashmir dispute between India and Pakistan figured prominently in both Houses of Parliament on Tuesday.

External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar made identical statements in both the Houses and said it has been India's firm and consistent policy that "all outstanding issues with Pakistan are discussed only bilaterally".

"Any engagement with Pakistan would require an end to cross-border terrorism," he said adding the Shimla Agreement and the Lahore Declaration provide the only basis to resolve all issues between India and Pakistan bilaterally.

"No such request has been made to the US President," Dr Jaishankar said. In the Lok Sabha as the House assembled to begin day's proceedings, Congress floor leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury raised the issue and said India is "not a weak country" and "Hindustan kisi key saamney sar jhooka nahi sakta hae (The country cannot bow its head before US or any other country)".

There was also slogan shouting seeking Prime Minister's statement.

During the Zero Hour, Congress MP Manish Tewari demanded Prime Minister's statement and insisted for a categorical clarification.

Supporting him, Trinamool member Saugata Roy said President Trump's statement is in "contravention" of the established foreign policy of the country.

T R Baalu of DMK said the country never wanted anyone to intervene on foreign policy matters and especially on Kashmir and insisted that Mr Modi should make a statement on the matter himself.

Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla said there are certain issues on which no member or party should try to draw any political mileage.

The Rajya Sabha could not transact business in the first hour after External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar made the statement.

Much to the embarrassment of the US policy makers, the US President's remarks on Monday evening in Washington in presence of Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has put Mr Trump's administration on back foot.

Acting Assistant Secretary Alice Wells with the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs, tweeted to say: "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".

Representative Brad Sherman, Congressman representing California's San Fernando Valley, tweeted saying : "I just apologized to Indian Ambassador Harsh Shringla for Trump’s amateurish and embarrassing mistake".  (UNI)