The US continues to send mixed signals in the aftermath of the Donald Trump’s ‘Kashmir mediation claim.’ Following the stern protest by India, the White House went back to traditional narrative that Kashmir was a bilateral issue and should be resolved by New Delhi and Islamabad on their own. However, now a Trump advisor has backed the US President on his mediation claims and said that he ‘won’t make things up.’ This comes at a time when the Modi government has issued a ‘categorical’ rebuttal inside and outside Parliament that the Prime Minister never asked for any ‘help’ from Trump on Kashmir.
When asked about Trump’s mediation claim whether it is true or not, Trump's Chief Economic Advisor Larry Kudlow said, “The President does not make anything up. That's a very rude question in my opinion. I am going to stay out of that. It's outside of my lane. It's for Mr (National Security Advisor 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.”
After meeting Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, Trump had claimed that Prime Minister Modi asked him to mediate on Kashmir when they met in Osaka, Japan on the sidelines of the G20 Summit last month.
While many inside Washington have called Trump’s remarks ‘amateurish’, it has caused massive political storm in Delhi. The Opposition is demanding a reply from the Prime Minister. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi had in fact termed S Jaishankar’s statement in the Rajya Sabha as ‘weak’. He said that if the statement made by Trump are inaccurate then Pm Modi must answer the nation as to what the real picture is.
Meanwhile, Imran Khan said that he was ‘surprised’ by India’s reaction. It should be noted that India has been very limited in its approach towards any dialogue with Pakistan after the Balakot airstrikes. The two nuclear powers had come close to a war in the days after Balakot airstrikes and arrest of Indian Air Force fighter pilot Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman.
With looming bankruptcy and blacklisting fears, Pakistani is walking a tight rope to stay float and maintain some dignified presence on global stage.
(With inputs from PTI)