US President Donald Trump has stirred a controversy with his statement that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was “very aggressive” in his remarks about Pakistan in Houston and that he had not expected him to make them.
“You have two big countries and they are warring countries, and they’ve been fighting. I heard a very aggressive statement yesterday, not to say that I was there. I didn’t know I was going to hear that statement…but I was sitting there, I heard a very aggressive statement yesterday, from India, from the Prime Minister, and I will say it was very well received within room… that was a big room with 59,000 people. But it was a very aggressive statement,” Trump said.
President Trump made the remarks at a press conference which he addressed along with Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan in New York on the sidelines of the 74th UN General Assembly session on Monday.
His remarks came a day after he joined Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the mega “Howdy, Modi” event and addressed more than 50,000 Indian-Americans from across the US.
This is the second time Trump found himself in a controversy over Kashmir. He made an off-the-cuff remark before a meeting with Khan at the White House in July that Modi had asked him to mediate or arbitrate the Kashmir issue.
During his address, PM Modi tore into Pakistan for supporting terrorism and making hatred towards India the hub of its governance.
Modi said that India’s neighbour is the breeding ground of terrorism, from 9/11 attacks in the US and the 26/11 Mumbai attacks and the entire world is aware of the source of the terror.
“What India has done (revoking Article 370), there are some people who have trouble over it, they are themselves unable to even take care of their own country,” he said, targeting Pakistan that has been attacking India over the revocation of special status to Kashmir.
However, US President Donald Trump, in his address, did not mention the Kashmir issue, although he mentioned border security and recognised India’s right like America’s right to protect its borders.
“Both India and the US also understand that to keep our communities safe, we must protect our borders,” the President asserted.
Without mincing words, Trump further said that India and the US must jointly fight “radical Islamic terrorism”.
Meanwhile, Trump is scheduled to meet Modi today at 12.15 pm New York Time (9.45 pm. IST).
Khan arrived in New York on a week-long visit on Sunday.
The highlight of Khan’s visit is his maiden address to the UNGA slated to take place on September 27, which would focus on Pakistan’s perspective and position on the Jammu and Kashmir issue and on its current human rights and related dimensions.
Imran Khan is being accompanied by Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Advisor on Finance Hafeez Shaikh and Special Assistant on Overseas Pakistanis Zulfikar Abbas Bukhari.