October 22, 2019
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‘I decide whether to accept and I say no,’ says Indian FM on Trump’s mediation offer India didn’t accept foreign mediation in its conflict with Pakistan over Kashmir and will not do so now following the offer from US President Donald Trump, the country’s top diplomat said after returning from New York.

Trump suggested he could play mediator between India and Pakistan on several occasions, including during his meeting with Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly. New Delhi however rejected those overtures and Indian External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar reiterated the stance after returning from the US, where he was part of Indian delegation to the UNGA.

“India has been clear for 40 odd years that we would not accept mediation… and that whatever has to be discussed has to be discussed bilaterally,” he told journalists as cited by Indian media.

My point is very simple. Whose issue (is this?). Mine. Who has to take the call? Me. If it is my issue and I have to take the call; I will decide whether I want somebody’s mediation or not. You can offer anything you like, but if I decide it is not relevant to me then it does not happen.

Kashmir, an area disputed by India and Pakistan since the partition of British colonies in the late 1940s, came into the media spotlight in February as the two nuclear-armed nations fought their first air battle in decades. Last month, India revoked autonomy for the part of Kashmir it administers and turned it into two administrative units, a regular state and a territory administered directly by the central government.

The change of status involved a large-scale security clampdown in Kashmir, and outraged Pakistan which threatened India with dire consequences for violating the rights of the region’s predominantly Muslim population. India insists it’s a domestic matter that neither Pakistan nor any other nation should get involved in.

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Conrad Contributor