Washington, July 23
President Donald Trump’s remarks on Monday that Prime Minister Narendra Modi sought his mediation on the Kashmir issue would “damage” the Indo-US relations, ex-diplomats said.
New Delhi has already rejected Trump’s claim, which he made during a meeting with Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, saying India’s consistent position has been that all outstanding issues with Pakistan are discussed only bilaterally.
Former US Ambassador to India Richard Verma told PTI, “The President did a lot of damage today. His comments on Kashmir and Afghanistan were way off the mark.”
According to Husain Haqqani, a former Pakistan Ambassador to the US, the President would soon learn the complexity of South Asian issues. “President Trump wants Pakistan’s help with a deal on Afghanistan and has dangled the prospect of help with what he thinks Pakistan wants,” he said.
“He praised Imran Khan like he praised North Korea’s Kim Jong-un. This is his standard procedure in trying to get a deal,” he noted.
“Just as he has not got a deal on the Korean peninsula, he will soon learn that South Asia’s historical issues are also more complex than fashioning a real estate deal,” Haqqani told PTI.
Both Haqqani and Verma were responding to questions on President Trump’s remarks that he is ready to mediate between India and Pakistan on the contentious Kashmir issue. PTI