Jul 22, 2019

India denies Trump's claim Modi asked him to mediate on Kashmir

Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

A spokesperson for India's Ministry of External Affairs issued a statement on Monday denying that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had asked President Trump to mediate the conflict between India and Pakistan over the Kashmir region.

"We have seen @POTUS's remarks to the press that he is ready to mediate, if requested by India & Pakistan, on Kashmir issue. No such request has been made by PM @narendramodi to US President. 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. The Shimla Agreement & the Lahore Declaration provide the basis to resolve all issues between India & Pakistan bilaterally."

Context: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan said in a meeting with Trump Monday that he would welcome the president's help in mediating the 70-year conflict in the disputed territory, where tensions between the two nuclear powers bubbled up earlier this year.

  • Trump responded that Modi asked him two weeks ago whether he would like to be a "mediator or arbitrator," and said he'd follow up with the Indian prime minister.

Why it matters: Indian media and politicians instantly jumped on Trump's comments, claiming no Indian prime minister would dare seek third-party mediation.

  • The 1972 Simla Agreement signed by both nations was designed by India to "constrain Pakistan from involving third parties in discussions about the future of Kashmir," delinking the border from UN resolutions in order to ensure that the issue was a "purely bilateral affair," per The Hindu.

The bottom line: Modi asking Trump to intervene would have amounted to a stunning and embarrassing request, which is likely why the government was so quick to outright reject the president's claim.

Go deeper

Pakistan struggles to rally the world against India's Kashmir crackdown

An Indian paramilitary trooper on an empty street in Srinagar. Photo: Yawar Nazir/ Getty Images

Two weeks after India announced major constitutional changes in Kashmir, a communications blackout continues, political leaders remain locked up, and the unrest India feared when announcing the drastic steps is still threatening to break loose.

The flipside: Pakistan, India’s fierce rival, has been attempting to rally international condemnation of India’s moves in Kashmir, which it also claims and partially controls. Prime Minister Imran Khan has repeatedly compared India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to the Nazis and warned without evidence of an “impending genocide” in Kashmir.

Go deeperArrowAug 20, 2019

India revokes Kashmir's special status amid crackdown

Indian paramilitary troopers stand guard at a roadblock at Maisuma locality in Srinagar, Kashmir, on Aug.4. Photo: Tauseef Mustafa/AFP/Getty Images

India's government said Monday it is revoking the part of the constitution that gives Indian-administered Kashmir special privileges, the BBC reports.

Why it matters: Tensions are running high in the highly militarized border region that is claimed by both India and Pakistan after the Indian government announced on Sunday night that it was imposing a lockdown, citing possible terrorist attacks by Pakistan-based militants, per Al Jazeera. The revoking of the special status would likely provoke backlash and violence in the Muslim-majority state.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Aug 5, 2019

India leaves Kashmir in the dark as it erases special status

A woman walks by security forces today in Indian-administered Kashmir. Photo: Rakesh Bakshi AFP/Getty Images

Residents of Indian-administered Kashmir were largely confined to their homes and cut off from the outside world today while the government in New Delhi unwound the constitutional provisions that defined their place within India for seven decades.

What’s happening: Before making its move, India’s government dispatched thousands of troops to Kashmir, evacuated tourists, detained at least two influential politicians and cut off internet access.

Go deeperArrowAug 6, 2019