India denies seeking Trump’s mediation in Kashmir, oppn grills govt Jul 24, 2019 0 1025 12345 AFPNew DelhiIndia’s foreign minister issued a strenuous denial to an infuriated opposition in parliament on Tuesday, after US President Donald Trump said Prime Minister Narendra Modi had invited him to mediate in the bloody conflict with Pakistan over Kashmir.While Pakistan has often sought third-party mediation in the decades-old dispute which has cost tens of thousands of lives, the idea is anathema to India, which has always insisted the issue can only be resolved bilaterally.Trump set off a political storm in India by claiming during a meeting in Washington on Monday with Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan that Modi had asked him two weeks ago to mediate in the Kashmir dispute.“I’d like to categorically assure the house that no such request was made by the prime minister to the US president,” Foreign Minister S Jaishankar told the Indian parliament, barely able to make his voice heard over the opposition tumult. Jaishankar insisted the conflict could only be settled bilaterally and that Pakistan had to end ‘cross-border terrorism’ before any talks.Trump’s comments touched on one of the most sensitive topics for New Delhi.India has disputed Kashmir with its neighbour since their independence in 1947. Both control parts of the former Himalayan kingdom, but claim it in its entirety.The the two countries have fought two wars over the region and tens of thousands, mainly civilians, have died since an insurgency erupted three decades ago in Indian-administered Kashmir.Tensions rose on Tuesday across the line of control -- the de facto border dividing Kashmir -- as firing broke out, violating a ceasefire between the two sides.Raja Akmal, a senior police official in Pakistani Kashmir, told AFP a 70-year-old woman was killed after she was hit by a mortar shell.Another government official said two people were wounded in “heavy shelling” on the line of control, “which was targeting civilian population”.Indian opposition leaders demanded that Modi make a personal statement to parliament to confirm that there was no change in New Delhi’s longstanding policy of only direct talks with Islamabad. RELATED ARTICLES US Senate confirms former lobbyist Esper as secretary of defense Jul 24, 2019 0 1104 Boris Johnson wins race to become Britain’s next PM Jul 24, 2019 0 819 Trial opens for Philippine journalist critical of President Duterte Jul 24, 2019 0 1038 China says it will ‘not tolerate foreign forces’ in Hong Kong AFP Beijing China on Tuesday slammed the US and Britain for interfering in Hong Kong affairs after the two countries voiced concerns about a vicious assault on pro-democracy protesters. The savage beating of the Hong .. Pakistan PM says will try to persuade Taliban to meet Afghan govt REUTERS WASHINGTON Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday said he would try meet with the Taliban in an effort to persuade the group to meet with the Afghan government, as the United States seeks to end the nearly .. Spain PM loses first parliament vote to remain in power Madrid: Spanish caretaker prime minister Pedro Sanchez lost a first parliamentary confidence vote on Tuesday as he seeks to remain in power after an inconclusive general election. A second, decisive vote has been .. Kabul seeks clarification on Trump talk of ‘wiping out Afghanistan’ KABUL: Afghanistan called on Tuesday for an explanation of comments by US President Donald Trump in which he said he could win the Afghan war in just 10 days by wiping out Afghanistan but did not want to kill 10 million .. JD(S)- Cong govt loses trust vote in India’s Karnataka assembly, CM quits AGENCIES BENGALURU Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy tendered his resignation after the Congress-JD(S) government failed to survive trust vote in the Karnataka Assembly on Tuesday, with the coalition falling ..