India has rejected an offer from the U.S. to help de-escalate tensions between India and Pakistan April 4, saying that its position on the bilateral redressal of all issues between the two countries has not changed. India further said that the international community needed to address the terrorism coming out of Pakistan. “Government’s position for bilateral redressal of all India-Pakistan issues in an environment free of terror and violence hasn’t changed,” Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Gopal Baglay said.
“We, of course, expect the international community and organizations to enforce international mechanisms and mandates concerning terrorism emanating from Pakistan, which continues to be the single biggest threat to peace and stability in our region and beyond,” he said.
“I would expect that the administration is going to be in talks and try and find its place to be part of that process,” the former governor of South Carolina said, adding that she “wouldn’t be surprised if the president participates as well.”
The reaction came after Indian American Nikki Haley, the U.S. permanent representative to the United Nations, said April 4 that the U.S. was concerned about relations between India and Pakistan, and that President Donald Trump might get involved in a peace process between the two South Asian countries.
“This administration is concerned about the relationship between India and Pakistan and very much wants to see how we de-escalate any sort of conflict going forward,” Haley, who holds a cabinet rank in the Trump administration, said. During his campaign in 2016, Trump had offered to mediate between India and Pakistan, but was careful to add that it was only if the two nations wanted him to. In an interview to The Hindustan Times, Trump said that he “would be honored” to be a moderator. “I think if they wanted me to, I would love to be the mediator or arbitrator.”
Haley’s comments were in response to a question from a reporter at her news conference on assuming the presidency of the Security Council for the month of April. The reporter pointed out that India does not want a mediator for talks with Pakistan, while Islamabad wanted the U.S. or another country to facilitate talks, and asked if the U.S. would get the leaders of the two countries to meet.
Her statement about India-Pakistan relations, therefore, is important, and is the first high-level Trump administration statement on India’s relationship with Pakistan. While it is not clear what steps the U.S. could take, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to meet Trump in Washington in May where the two could potentially discuss the matter.
“We don’t think we should wait until something happens,” Haley said. “We very much think we should be pro-active in what we are seeing, tensions rise and conflicts seem to bubble up and so we want to see if we can be a part of that. So, that will be something you will see, that is something that members of the National Security Council participate in,” she said
Haley also said that she sounds strong because that’s how her Sikh parents raised her in Punjab. She said she does her “job to the best of my abilities and if that comes out blunt, comes out strong, I am one of two brothers and a sister and my parents raised us all to be strong.”
Her father Ajit Singh Randhwa, is from Amritsar district. He is an agriculture science professor. Her mother is Raj Kaur Randhwa. One of her brothers, Mitti Randhwa, was an Army officer who saw action in Operation Desert Storm, 1990-91, leading a company tasked with finding chemical weapons.
Just over two months into her office as the first Indian American to be appointed to a cabinet-level position, she has made waves by calling a spade a spade. She has called the UN Human Rights Council “corrupt”, the UN of being a partner of a “corrupt” government, and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad a “war criminal”, and declared she was free to “beat up on Russia”.
And she perceives her job as shaking up the UN and pulling it by its purse strings, kicking and screaming, to carry out reforms.