Indian stubbornness

August 14, 2019

A senior US State Department official has reiterated the US offer to help India and Pakistan resolve the Kashmir dispute, if asked by both. But unfortunately, India has rejected US President Donald Trump’s fresh offer to mediate on this seven decades old issue. Regrettably, President Trump’s offer to help resolve the Kashmir issue is not being seen by India against the backdrop of the US desire to help improve relations between India and Pakistan. Indian obduracy to adopt out-of-the-box solutions have left this wound festering. At a joint news conference with Prime Minister Khan at the White House on July 22, President Trump said he was willing to mediate between India and Pakistan to resolve the Kashmir issue if the two neighbor’s asked him to do so. This was the second time Trump showed interest in becoming an arbitrator in the Kashmir issue. Earlier, he had said that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had asked him whether he would like to be a mediator or arbitrator on Kashmir while speaking to reporters alongside Prime Minister Imran Khan at White House. However, India was quick to refute Trump’s claims despite the US assertion. The statement caused a political storm in India where opposition parties called Mr Modi’s reported request to the US president an act of treason and asked him to explain why he made such a move. The Indian government denied ever asking Mr Trump to mediate on Kashmir, adding that India retains its traditional position that it will not accept any third-party mediation on its disputes with Pakistan. On July 24, President Trump’s Chief Economic Adviser Larry Kudlow rejected the suggestion that his boss had made up the claim that the Indian PM had asked him to mediate on Kashmir. The president does not make anything up. That’s a very rude question in my opinion, he told at a White House briefing. While New Delhi keeps harping on militancy in South Asia, it turns a blind eye to the appalling human rights situation in the held valley, which in many ways provides impetus to armed groups. Moreover, its frequent ceasefire violations along the Line of Control have resulted in unacceptable losses of human life in Pakistan, both civilian and military while adding to the risks of conflict between the nuclear-armed neighbors. The fact is that unless the Kashmir issue is addressed, peace in the subcontinent will be a distant dream. And it is also a fact that bilateral attempts to address the Kashmir issue and restart dialogue have hit a brick wall, thanks mainly to Indian arrogance and intransigence. Therefore, perhaps the time is right to take up US President Donald Trump’s offer of mediation between Pakistan and India on Kashmir dispute.

The president does not make anything up. That’s a very rude question in my opinion, he told at a White House briefing. While New Delhi keeps harping on militancy in South Asia, it turns a blind eye to the appalling human rights situation in the held valley, which in many ways provides impetus to armed groups.