Veteran Congress leader Natwar Singh has embarrassed his party even as it continues its attack on the Centre over US President's false claim that PM Narendra Modi asked him to mediate in the Kashmir issue. Singh who had held the post of External Affairs Minister during the Congress rule backed PM Modi-led Centre saying there is no way the Prime Minister would ask the US President to mediate in Kashmir issue.
"I found it very strange that the President of US would pronounce that the PM of India asked him to mediate on the Kashmir issue, to find a solution for it, it is most unlikely. Prime Minister Modi or any PM of India would not ask the US president or any government of the world. It has been our policy. It is a bilateral issue between India and Pakistan and it would remain so. The solution can be found only by two parties, not by a third party," he said.
Speaking to Republic he elaborated on his opinion in this matter and slammed Trump for not knowing simple facts about Indo-Pak relations.
"Our policy is wellknown for so many decades. This is a matter between Pakistan and India, it is a bilateral matter, there is no room for a third party to talk between the two countries. Trump displays tremendous igmorance if he did not know the basic fact about the relation between India and Pakistan," he said.
Trump on Monday asserted that PM Modi had invited him to mediate in the Kashmir issue when they had last met - something that has been rejected by the Indian government which has upheld its long-standing position against third-party involvement in the Kashmir issue and called for Pakistan to end cross-border terrorism before any engagement on the topic.
By Tuesday, United States was in a damage control mode where several of its lawmakers rejected Trump's claims and stood by the Ministry of External Affairs' comment which states the above. Backing Indian government's version of events, the US States Department said to news agency ANI, "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. We believe foundation for any successful dialogue between India and Pakistan is based on Pakistan taking sustained and irreversible steps against terrorists on its territory. These actions are in line with PM Khan’s stated commitments and, Pakistan’s international obligations. We will continue to support efforts that reduce tensions and create an environment conducive for dialogue. This first and foremost means tackling the menace of terrorism. As the President indicated, we stand ready to assist."