Opposition cries PM jawaab do as Jaishankar clarifies India's stand on Trump's Kashmir remark
Amid the furore over US President Donald Trump's statement that India had asked for his intervention in the Kashmir problem, Rajya Sabha descended into chaos.
As the Opposition protested and demanded a clarification from the government, External Affairs Minister S Jaishanakar reiterated India's stand that Kashmir is a bilateral issue.
Making a statement in the Rajya Sabha, Jaishankar categorically assured the House that no such request has been made by Prime Minister Modi to the 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," S Jaishankar said.
#WATCH: EAM S Jaishankar speaks in Rajya Sabha over the statement of US President Donald Trump that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had asked him to mediate in Kashmir issue. He says, "I would like to categorically assure the House that no such request has been made by PM Modi..." pic.twitter.com/gWjAa32bMOANI (@ANI) July 23, 2019
"The Shimla Agreement & the Lahore declaration provide the basis to resolve all issues between India & Pakistan bilaterally," he added.
Opposition parties were, however, not satisfied by the statement of the External Affairs Minister and wanted the Prime Minister to come to the House and clarify.
This led to a heated exchange between opposition benches and the Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu who commented on the row, saying, "It is a national issue. Country's unity, integrity & national interest is involved, we should be seen speaking in one voice."
He accused the opposition of sending a wrong signal by prioritising Trump's statement over that of the external affairs minister.
"You have more confidence in US President than Indian Foreign Minister? This is sending out the wrong signal. This is not in the national interest," Venkaiah Naidu said.
Amid the war of words, the Rajya Sabha was adjourned till 12 pm. The Rajya Sabha was again adjourned till 2 pm after Opposition asked the PM to address the issue and raised slogans of 'Pradhanmantri jawab do'.
On Tuesday, Opposition MPs created an uproar in the Rajya Sabha over Donald Trump's statement.
Congress MP Anand Sharma said, "The entire country was shocked to hear Trump tell Imran Khan that PM Modi requested him at G20 to mediate in Kashmir."
"India speaks in one voice. Head of state of a powerful country's statement about the head of another country conveying something has serious consequences. The Shimla Accord is clear. I submit to you that PM must respect the house and come and tell Parliament," he added.
Speaking outside the Rajya Sabha, Congress MP Ghulam Nabi Azad said, "No matter which government was in power at Centre in past, our foreign policy has been that Kashmir is a bilateral issue and no third party can intervene and President Trump knows it. I don't think President Trump would tell Pakistan's PM that India's PM has asked the US to mediate."
Earlier in the day, CPI MP D Raja gave notice of suspension of business in Rajya Sabha to discuss 'the statement of US President Donald Trump that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had asked Trump to mediate in Kashmir issue'.
India on Monday denied US President Donald Trump's claim that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had asked him to mediate in resolving the Kashmir issue with Pakistan.
In a meeting with Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, Trump offered to be the "mediator" between India and Pakistan on the Kashmir issue and even said he has received a request to do so from Modi during a recent meeting with him.
"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," External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted.