- Rajnath Singh spoke moments after the Congress staged a walkout
- Congress demanded statement "from horse's mouth" on Trump's claim
- PM Modi was expected to be in the house today, said opposition
There is no question of accepting mediation on Kashmir, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh asserted in parliament today as the opposition led by the Congress demanded Prime Minister Narendra Modi's clarification on a stunning claim by US President Donald Trump that he had asked for mediation.
"We cannot compromise with India's self-respect," Rajnath Singh said in the Lok Sabha, Foreign Minister S Jaishankar by his side. He spoke moments after the Congress staged a walkout, protesting what they called the PM's silence.
"There was no discussion on Kashmir during the meeting between the Prime Minister and US President Trump in June. There is no question of any mediation on Kashmir issue," he said.
On Tuesday, Mr Jaishankar had made a statement in both houses denying President Trump's claim that PM Modi had asked him to mediate on Kashmir. "I would like to categorically assure...that no such request has been made by the Prime Minister to the US President. I repeat, no such request was made by the Prime Minister to the US President," Mr Jaishankar had said.
Referring to that clarification today, Rajnath Singh said: "What the foreign minister said is authentic because he was present when Trump and PM Modi held discussions in Osaka and he has put out the statement on record. We feel there is no further statement required by anyone on this."Earlier, Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury had demanded a statement "from the horse's mouth" on Trump's claim.
PM Modi was expected to be in the house today, said opposition lawmakers protesting his absence amid demands for his clarification.
On Monday, President Trump, at a White House briefing with Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, said on Kashmir: ""I was with Prime Minister Modi two weeks ago, and we talked about the subject. And he actually said, 'would you like to be a mediator, or arbitrator', and I said 'where?', and he said 'Kashmir', because this has been going on for many, many years."
India immediately rejected the claim, reiterating that Kashmir would be discussed only bilaterally with Pakistan and no third-party mediation was needed.
A Trump advisor, Larry Kudlow, told reporters yesterday that the US President "doesn't make thinks up". "It is a very rude question," he said, asked to clarify on the remarks denied by India.