New Delhi: US President Donald Trump's statement that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has asked him to 'mediate' on Kashmir dispute between India and Pakistan rocked Lok Sabha for the second consecutive day on Wednesday with opposition Congress insisting that no one else other than Mr. Modi's clarification will satisfy them.
Maintaining that - "we want to hear from horse's mouth", Congress floor leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said since the Shimla Agreement was inked by the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and Pakistani leader Z A Bhutto in 1972, it was known to all that any outstanding issue between India and Pakistan are bilateral.
The Congress and DMK members staged a walkout during Zero Hour as soon as Defence Minister Rajnath Singh was up on his feet to make a brief response on issues raised by Congress leader Mr. Chowdhury on Mr. Trump's statement on 'Kashmir mediation'.
DMK leader T R Baalu also wanted Mr. Modi's presence in the House. Earlier during Question Hour, "Pradhan Mantri Jawab Do" and "Pradhan Mantri Hosh mein aao" slogans were heard in the House.
Mr. Trump's statement on Monday in Washington in presence of Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan that Mr. Modi has asked him to 'mediate' on the long-pending Kashmir dispute between India and Pakistan had rocked both Houses of Parliament on Tuesday also.
"No one can give a better and authentic statement than External Affairs Minister. Because when Modi and Trump held bilateral talks, our External Affairs Minister was himself present there," the Defence Minister told the Lower House of Parliament in his response.
He, however, lamented that Congress members did not have the patience to listen to him and did not honor their own words.
With External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar sitting alongside, Defence Minister said: "On Kashmir issue, there can be no question of any third party intervention, as we are aware that such a thing will go against the spirit of the Shimla Agreement".
Moreover, Dr. Jaishankar also categorically told Parliament on Tuesday that - the Shimla Agreement and the Lahore Declaration provide the basis to resolve all issues between India and Pakistan.
The Shimla Agreement between Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and her Pakistani counterpart Late Bhutto was inked on July 2, 1972, while Lahore Declaration was signed when Atal Bihari Vajpayee had made the famous bus journey to Lahore during the stint of Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif on February 21, 1999.
India has suspended comprehensive bilateral talks with Pakistan since 2016 and has made it clear that formal parleys would be possible only after Islamabad takes concrete and result-oriented actions against terrorism originating in Pakistan.
New Delhi has said more than once that any engagement with Pakistan would require an end to cross-border terrorism.
In his response, Mr. Rajnath said there was was no discussion on Kashmir in the meeting between Mr. Trump and Mr. Modi at Osaka on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Japan in June.
The Defence Minister sought to up the ante on Pakistan on the possibility of reviving the bilateral parleys and said whenever there will be engagements, New Delhi will "also talk on Pak-occupied Jammu and Kashmir".
"Pakistan se agar baat hogi, kewal Kashmir par baat nahi hogi. Pak-adhikrit Jammu-Kashmir par bhi baat hogi, (If there will be talks with Pakistan, I want to make it very clear, we will not only talk on Kashmir issue, but we will need to talk on Pak-occupied Jammu and Kashmir also)," Defence Minister said.