India on Friday again rejected U.S. President Donald Trump’s offer to mediate between Islamabad and New Delhi in the Kashmir conflict, as media reports India is moving an additional 25,000 troops to the insurgency-torn region.
Indian Foreign Minister, Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, tweeted that he had conveyed this to Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, at a meeting in Bangkok.
“I have conveyed to American counterpart at Secretary Pompeo this morning in clear terms that any discussion on Kashmir, if at all warranted, will only be with Pakistan and only bilaterally,’’ Jaishankar wrote.
“The response came hours after Trump said it was up to India and Pakistan to resolve the Kashmir issue but he was ready to assist.
“If I can, if they wanted me to, I will certainly intervene,’’ Trump said.
Trump referred to his recent meeting with Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan in which the U.S. President claimed the Indian Premier Narendra Modi had asked him to mediate on Kashmir.
However, India immediately rejected the claim and the mediation offer.
“New Delhi has opposed any international or third-party mediation in Kashmir, though it has been repeatedly sought by Pakistan in various international fora including the United Nations (UN).
The disputed Himalayan region is claimed by both India and Pakistan.
The neighbours have fought two wars over it since their independence from British rule in 1947.
India’s administered Kashmir has seen a deadly secessionist movement since the 1980s.
India claims that Pakistan aids and abets Kashmiri militants, a charge Pakistan denies.
Meanwhile, Indian media, citing sources, reported that Delhi was moving an extra 25,000 troops to Kashmir in a troop build-up but that security officials claimed this was based on the security requirements there. (dpa/NAN)