New Delhi: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Wednesday ruled out in the Lok Sabha any question of accepting mediation on Kashmir saying it is a matter of “national pride for us”.
He also said there was no mention of Kashmir in talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump on the sidelines of G20 summit in Osaka refuting Trump’s claim that Modi sought his mediation for resolution of the Kashmir issue.
Singh made the statement in Lok Sabha after opposition members raised the issue for the second consecutive day and sought a reply from the Prime Minister over Trump’s claim.
“It is true that there was a meeting between Prime Minister Modi and US President Trump in the month of June but as EAM S Jaishankar ji stated that Kashmir issue was not discussed during the meeting between US President Trump and Prime Minister Narendra Modi meeting.” he said.
Singh said External Affairs Minister Jaishankar has already given his statement on the issue and there cannot be “more authentic” statement than what he said.
“During the talk between Modi and Trump, Jaishankar was present there,” he said.
Rajnath further said, “There is no question of accepting mediation in Kashmir issue as it will be against the Shimla agreement. Kashmir is an issue of national pride for us. We can never compromise with it.”
Singh said if there would be any talks with Pakistan over Kashmir, it will also include Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.
The Minister’s remarks came after the Congress and other opposition parties created a ruckus in the lower house demanding a statement from the Prime Minister.
Raising the issue during Zero Hour Congress’ Adhir Ranjan Chowdhuri said the Prime Minister should come to the House and give a statement on the issue. DMK’s T R Baalu echoed the same view.
As Rajnath Singh stood up to reply, the Congress, the DMK and some other opposition parties staged a walkout.
Earlier on Monday, Trump, during a meeting with Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, had claimed that Modi requested him to mediate the long-pending issue.
India has rejected this claim.