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India Again Rejects Trump's Mediation Offer on Kashmir Issue

By Abdus-Sattar Ghazali

Al-Jazeerah, CCUN, September 30, 2019 

Imran Khan (Photo: Reuters)  
Pakistani President, Imran Khan, at the UNGA, September 27, 2019  


The U.S. President Donald Trump has expressed his concern over the fact that India and Pakistan are both nuclear countries and asked Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran to settle the dispute over Kashmir.

President Trump first met Prime Minister Modi during the Modi's address to the Indian community in Houston. The two then met on Tuesday during bilateral talks between the two. Trump also met Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan in New York on Monday.

Trump also described as "very aggressive" the statement made by Prime Minister Modi during the 'Howdy, Modi' community event in Houston during which the Indian leader had made a veiled reference to Pakistan and its alleged support for terrorism.

"I heard a very aggressive statement yesterday. I was there. I didn't know I was going to hear that statement...but I was sitting there. And I heard a very aggressive statement yesterday, from India, from the prime minister," Trump said.

On Trump's new offer for mediation on Kashmir dispute, Indian Foreign Ministry's spokesperson Raveesh Kumar told the media that India was clear on its position over mediation. The Indian spokesman claimed that the meeting between Trump and Modi was in the context of counter-terrorism.

New Delhi has always turned down the proposal to hold a dialogue with Pakistan over Kashmir, citing it as an internal matter.

According to India Today, "this statement, which Donald Trump has repeated multiple times in recent days, has something for everyone: Trump doesn't have to admit he lied about PM Narendra Modi asking him to mediate, Islamabad can take comfort from Washington's assurance that it is there to help if needed, while Delhi can continue what it has been doing all along: Maintain that Kashmir is India's internal matter."

UK Labor Party demands right to self-determination for Kashmir

Tellingly the UK's Opposition Labor Party has passed an emergency motion on Kashmir calling for party leader Jeremy Corbyn to seek international observers to "enter" the region and demand the right of self-determination for its people.

"The conference urges the Labour party to ask Jeremy Corbyn or ensure someone from the labor party is represented to attend the UNHRC to demand the restoration of basic human rights including the freedom of speech and communication, the lifting of curfews, and to allow the humanitarian aid organization and international observers to enter the region," reads the resolution.

The resolution also calls for Corbyn to meet the high commissioners (envoys) of both India and Pakistan to ensure there is "mediation" and restoration of peace and normality to prevent a potential nuclear conflict.

The resolution states: "Accept that Kashmir is a disputed territory and the people of Kashmir should be given the right of self-determination in accordance with UN resolutions."

"The Labor party to stand with the Kashmiri people....this is vital as we stand for social justice and ethical foreign policy."

It notes that while the party conference is taking place in the UK, India and Pakistan are discussing the issue of Kashmir at the United Nations amid a major humanitarian crisis and several exchanges of fire across the Line of Control.

In an apparent reference to the revocation of Article 370, it condemns the house arrest and imprisonment of mainstream politicians and activists and restrictions on journalistic freedom, claiming that "ongoing communications blackout" continues to cause disruption for families.

The Labor resolution follows Prime Minister Jeremy Corbyn's own direct social media intervention in the wake of the Indian government's announcement on Article 370 last month, which withdrew the special status of Jammu and Kashmir.

"The situation in Kashmir is deeply disturbing. Human rights abuses taking place are unacceptable. The rights of the Kashmiri people must be respected and UN resolutions implemented," Corbyn had said.

Pakistan will be wiped out if it engages in war with India: Indian Home Minister

In another development Indian Minister of State for Home G Kishan Reddy has threatened that Pakistan would be wiped out of the world map if at all it engages in a war with India.

'If at all a war happens, Pakistan will no longer remain on the world map. It will be wiped out,' Reddy said.

He was addressing a 'Jan Jagaran' meeting in Kakinada to seek public support for the abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution to annex Kashmir.

"There is nothing to be cowed down by the hollow noises of Imran Khan or the Pakistan Army" Reddy said adding: India would look into the issue of PoK (Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir) when the time comes.

Last week Indian external affairs minister, Jaishankar said, Pakistan occupied (read administered) Kashmir (PoK) is a part of India and New Delhi expects to have physical jurisdiction over it one day.

"Our position has, is and will always be very clear on PoK, that it is part of India and we expect one day we will have physical jurisdiction over it," he told reporters in New Delhi.

Similarly, on August 18, Indian Defense Minister Rajnath Singh said: "If talks are held with Pakistan, it will now be on PoK.

Ties between India and Pakistan have been tense since India annexed Jammu and Kashmir disputed territory which remained under siege since August 5, 2019.

Pakistan Prime Minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan, has warned of "consequences" if nuclear-armed Pakistan ends up losing a conventional war to its nuclear-armed neighbor India.

In an interview with Al Jazeera, Imran Khan said he "absolutely" believes war with India could be a possibility.

"Pakistan would never start a war, and I am clear: I am a pacifist, I am anti-war, I believe that wars do not solve any problems," he said but, he added: "When two nuclear-armed countries fight, if they fight a conventional war, there is every possibility that it is going to end up into nuclear war. The unthinkable."


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