After US President Donald Trump offered to mediate in Kashmir issue for the third time, in presence of Pakistan PM Imran Khan on Monday, a senior Indian diplomat refused to comment on the matter and Trump's description of the Prime Minister Modi's statement in Houston as "very aggressive".
The MEA also urged the media to wait till Tuesday, when Trump and PM Modi meet for bilateral talks in New York.
"There is a meeting tomorrow (Tuesday) between Prime Minister Modi and President Trump. So let us wait for the meeting," Secretary (West) in the Ministry of External Affairs A Gitesh Sarma told a press briefing in New York on Monday in response to a question on the US president's remarks on Modi's statements and his offer again for mediation.
Responding to a similar query on Trump's offer to mediate, Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar referred to Sarma's response that one should wait for Tuesday's bilateral meeting.
"The Secretary's response (to wait for the bilateral meeting) is after giving some thought. You know, you are aware about our position, we have mentioned about this in the past. But my request is just hold on. Just hold on for the meeting tomorrow. I think it's not very far," Kumar said.
In less than two days after the Howdy Modi event in Houston, Trump and Modi will meet again for bilateral talks Tuesday following Trump's address to the UN General Debate.
Describing himself as "an extremely good arbitrator", Trump again brought back the 'mediation' card on Monday by saying that he can only intervene on the Kashmir issue if India and Pakistan agree on that.
Trump made the remarks during his meeting with Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly session in New York.
"If I can help, I will certainly help," Trump said, describing the Kashmir issue as a "complex" one which has been going on for a long time.
"If both (Pakistan and India) want, I am ready to do it," he said, a day after attending 'Howdy, Modi' rally in Houston, where he shared the stage with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and displayed a close friendship and a common vision on fighting terrorism.
"At any point of time, I would be an extremely good arbitrator," he said.
Trump praised the 'Howdy, Modi' mega rally in presence of Khan and said he has heard a "very aggressive statement" by Prime Minister Modi.
On Monday, Trump praised the 'Howdy, Modi' mega rally in the presence of the Pakistani premier and said he has heard a "very aggressive statement" by Prime Minister Modi at the mega rally.
"I heard a very aggressive statement yesterday. I was there. I didn't know I was going to hear that statement. But I was sitting there. And I heard a very aggressive statement yesterday, from India, from the prime minister," Trump said.
However, at the same time, he said the statement was "very well received within the room" "And I will say it was very well received within the room, the statement itself.
"That was a big room, 59,000 people. But it was a very aggressive statement. And I hope that they're going to be able to come together, India and Pakistan, and do something that's really smart and good for both. And I'm sure that. there's always a solution. And I really believe there's a solution to that," Trump said, while referring to the gathering of 50,000 people at the NRG Stadium in Houston.
At the rally on Sunday, Modi hit out at Pakistan for its support to terrorism and said India's decision to nullify Article 370 has caused trouble to those who cannot handle their country as he called for a "decisive battle" against terrorism.
Prime Minister Khan, who has declared himself an ambassador of Kashmiris, on Sunday briefed US lawmakers, scholars, human rights activists and the media on the repercussions of India revoking the special status of Jammu and Kashmir on August 5.
Trump and Imran last met in July at the White House.
During their first one-on-one interaction, the US president had expressed his willingness to mediate between India and Pakistan to resolve the Kashmir issue - an offer India rejected.
During Modi's meeting with President Trump on the sidelines of the G7 Summit in France last month, the prime minister categorically rejected any scope for third party mediation between India and Pakistan on Kashmir.
"All the issues between India and Pakistan are of bilateral in nature, and we don't want to trouble any third country. We can discuss and resolve these issues bilaterally," Modi had said.
On his part, Trump had said he and Modi spoke about Kashmir "at great length" during the G7 Summit and he feels that both India and Pakistan can resolve it on their own.
His comments on Kashmir in the French city of Biarritz was seen as apparent backtracking from his earlier comments, offering mediation.
Tensions between India and Pakistan spiked after India abrogated provisions of Article 370 of the Constitution to revoke the special status of Jammu and Kashmir.
India's action evoked strong reactions from Pakistan which downgraded diplomatic ties with New Delhi and expelled the Indian Ambassador.
Pakistan has been trying to internationalise the Kashmir issue but India has asserted that the abrogation of Article 370 was its "internal matter".
New Delhi has also asked Islamabad to accept reality and stop its anti-India rhetoric.
(From PTI Inputs)