In what can be termed as a bizarre incident in world diplomacy, United States’ President Donald Trump broke a protocol by talking about a privileged conversation with PM Modi during his meeting with the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan.
Trump claimed that the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked him to be a mediator in the Kashmir dispute between India and Pakistan. In his weird choice of words, Trump assured Khan that he is ready to be a mediator in the dispute that has been going on for 72 years now.
This statement by Donald Trump did not go down well in India which has made its stand clear on treating issues with Pakistan bilaterally.
Here are some reasons why India in a subtle way, said “thanks, but no thanks” to Trump’s proposal:
India has had a rough past with mediation when Nehru decided he won’t take matters to the international forum after the blunder of taking India’s dispute with Pakistan to the United Nations.
He realized that the five permanent members of the UN did not want this matter to cool down because it benefited the personal interests of their countries. Nehru thus made his stand clear that India won’t give up on Kashmir.
After the partition of Bangladesh from Pakistan, where India supported Bangladesh, the then Prime Ministers of India and Pakistan, Indira Gandhi and Bhutto, signed the “Shimla Agreement” to declare that India-Pakistan issues are bilateral.
Diplomats have always had a conflicted view of countries solving disputes through mediation. While some believe that mediation should be chosen when countries have failed at all attempts of resolving a dispute and are at the verge of war, others believe that mediation is simply a bad idea!
It might be easy to think that a stronger party could benefit from mediation but most times, the stronger party has to compromise more.
Even if the mediator is biased to your country, it would expect you to comply more with its terms, considering it has a better influence on you.
Even if India and Pakistan were to take mediation, USA stands at a very uneasy position as a mediator especially now that it has been in a rough patch with India lately. Besides, the USA might not be able to understand the diplomacy of the regional level.
One could easily consider countries like Japan to hold a better stand owing to more reliable relations with India and holding rank 9 on Global Peace Index.
Pakistan, on the other hand, seems just fine with Trump’s proposal, neglecting the Shimla Agreement.
Whether a mediation awaits for India and Pakistan is a tale for the future to tell. As for now, India has made herself clear and we don’t mince with our words.
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