External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar today said, it is India’s consistent position that all outstanding issues with Pakistan are discussed only bilaterally.
Making a brief statement in the Rajya Sabha on US President Donald Trump’s claim with regard to Jammu and Kashmir, he assured the House that no such request of mediation was made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the US President.
He said, any engagement with Pakistan will require an end to cross-border terrorism.
The Minister added that the Shimla Agreement and the Lahore Declaration provide the basis to resolve all issues between the two countries bilaterally.
Earlier, Anand Sharma of Congress raised the issue saying the entire country is shocked to hear the claim made by US President. He said, the Prime Minister should come to Parliament and verify the US President’s statement. D Raja of CPI also echoed same view and added that mere denial by the External Affairs Ministry is not enough and Prime Minister must clarify the issue in Parliament.
Congress has said that United States President Donald Trump’s claim with regard to mediation on Jammu and Kashmir issue raises doubts that there is a change in India’s stand on Kashmir.
Talking to media outside Parliament along with other opposition leaders, senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said, it has been consistent position of India that Jammu and Kashmir is a bilateral issue with Pakistan. He said the US President knows that it is a sensitive issue for India and he must have given the statement with due deliberation. He said, the opposition respects Prime Minister Narendra Modi and he should come in the Rajya Sabha and clarify the issue.
Meanwhile, Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar accused the Congress of playing politics over the issue. Talking to media outside Parliament, Mr. Javadekar said, when the whole nation should speak in one voice, Congress is putting politics above national interest.
He said people have rejected the Congress and they are not able to digest the BJP’s electoral victory and disturbing the proceedings in the Rajya Sabha.