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Clear the air on Trump's statement: Oppn to PM

ANI | Updated: Jul 23, 2019 13:36 IST

New Delhi [India], July 23 (ANI): The Opposition on Tuesday created uproar in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha and asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to "clear the air" regarding US President Donald Trump's statement over the Kashmir issue by addressing both the houses of the Parliament.
UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi said that her party will raise the issue related to the statement made by Trump, who claimed that Modi had asked him to mediate on the issue of Kashmir.
Asked if Congress will seek a reply from the Prime Minister in Parliament on Trump's statement, Sonia Gandhi said, "You will see it in the House. We will raise the issue and Congress is raising now also."
Meanwhile, leaders from opposition parties, including Congress, NCP, AAP, PDP, DMK, CPI (M), CPI, RJD, Samajwadi Party and TMC asked Prime Minister Modi to give a clarification on the US President's statement in both Houses of Parliament.
While speaking in Rajya Sabha, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said Modi has not made any request to Trump regarding mediation with Pakistan on the Kashmir issue.
"I would like to categorically assure the House that no such request has been made by Prime Minister Modi. It has been India's consistent position that all outstanding issues with Pakistan are discussed only bilaterally. Any engagement with Pakistan would require an end to cross-border terrorism," he said.
However, Opposition leaders were of the view that the Prime Minister should himself address both the houses of the Parliament regarding this issue.
Congress' Ghulam Nabi Azad said, "No matter which government was in power at Centre in the past, whether it was Congress or NDA, our foreign policy has been that Kashmir is a bilateral issue and no third party can intervene. President Trump made this statement while talking to Prime Minister of Pakistan. If he would have made it while talking to some other nation, then we understand that he could have said it in a lighter mode, but he knows how serious this Kashmir issue is between India and Pakistan. He also knows that India's policy has been to solve this issue bilaterally."
He added, "Trump would have thought about it and then said it. We are ready to believe our Prime Minister. We are not saying that our Prime Minister is lying... We want our Prime Minister to say it in the Parliament that Trump is lying. But this is not correct if some officer says that you are trusting President Trump and not our Prime Minister."
Azad went on add that "from Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru to Manmohan Singh, whenever any Prime Minister used to go on an official visit to any country and meet the head of states there, then they used to give statements in both the Houses of the Parliament after returning back."
"But in last six years, Prime Minister (Narendra Modi) has visited so many countries, but didn't give any statement in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha regarding his visits... Rather than External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, Prime Minister Modi should address both the Houses himself and say that he didn't say anything like this," he added.
Senior leader D Raja said, "India's position continues to be a consistent one on Kashmir issue, on disputes between India and Pakistan. They are all bilateral disputes, bilateral issues, and no question of allowing third party mediation... It is a serious issue. We do not want to believe US President. We want to believe our Prime Minister. That is why we demand that the Prime Minister should come and tell the Parliament what exactly he spoke to President Trump... Parliament is in Session. Prime Minister should take the people and country into confidence."
Resonating similar sentiments, TMC leader Derek O'Brien said that Prime Minister should "clear the air" regarding his discussion with Trump.
"My colleagues including Leader of the Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad from the Congress party, NCP, AAP, PDP, DMK, CPI (M), CPI, RJD, Samajwadi Party and the TMC are here. Our position is very, very clear. We have a simple, straight-forward demand or request - the Prime Minister of India has to come and clear the air," he said.
During a meeting with Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, Trump had said, "So I was with Prime Minister Narendra Modi two weeks ago and we talked about this subject. And he actually said, would you actually like to be a mediator or arbitrator? Did I say, where? He said Kashmir because this has been going for many, many years. I was surprised at how long it has been going on." (ANI)

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