US Congressman apologises for Trump’s ’embarrassing’ remark on Kashmir

Congressman Eliot L Engel, the Chairman of the powerful House Committee on Foreign Affairs, spoke with Indian Ambassador Harsh Shringla after Donald Trump’s remarks.

“Engel reiterated his support for the longstanding US position on the Kashmir dispute, saying he supported dialogue between India and Pakistan, but reaffirmed that the dialogue’s pace and scope can only be determined by India and Pakistan,” said a statement issued by the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

During the call, Engel “reaffirmed that in order for dialogue to be meaningful, Pakistan must first take concrete and irreversible steps to dismantle the terrorist infrastructure” on its soil, the statement said.

In a joint statement, Congressman George Holding and Congressman Brad Sherman, who are Co-Chairs of Congressional Caucus on India and Indian Americans, asserted that Kashmir is a bilateral issue between India and Pakistan.

“Consistent with decades of US policy, we believe the dispute over Kashmir must be resolved bilaterally by India and Pakistan. The Republic of India is one of America’s closest and most important allies, and we look forward to working with Prime Minister Modi and Indian officials to combat terrorism and extremism throughout the region,” the two influential lawmakers said in their joint statement.

Earlier on Monday, during a meeting with Pakistan PM Imran Khan at the Oval Office, Donald Trump claimed that PM Modi sought his mediation in the Kashmir issue and that he was ready for it. In New Delhi, the Ministry of External Affairs rejected Donald Trump’s claim that Prime Minister Modi ever asked for mediation on Kashmir.

The Democratic-controlled House Foreign Affairs Committee also issued a fact check. “The Indians confirm they never asked Trump to mediate on Kashmir,” the powerful Congressional committee tweeted.