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Trump Surprised By Modi’s ‘Aggressive Statement’ Against Pakistan

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NEW YORK: United States (US) President Donald Trump attended Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s rally in Houston, Texas, on Sunday and he was taken by surprise by the latter’s ‘aggressive’ statements on the occasion.

“I heard a very aggressive statement yesterday and I have to say I mean I was there [and] I didn’t know I was going to hear that statement… from India… from Modi,” said Trump while speaking to media persons alongside Prime Minster (PM) Imran Khan.

The US president was also surprised that Modi’s statement was “very well received” by some “59,000” people attending the rally.

“It was a very aggressive statement and I hope they’re [India and Pakistan] going to be able to come together and do something that’s smart and good for both.” There is always a solution to any problem, he added.

When asked whether he agreed with Modi’s statement calling Pakistan a “hub of terrorism”, Trump changed the topic to Iran saying that the country was a threat to world peace.

He further said, “I have heard Pakistan has made great progress in combatting terrorism under this [Imran] leader. There is no other solution. The only other way would lead to death, chaos, and poverty. And he [Imran] understands it.”

President Trump also dodged questions about Indian human rights violations in the occupied Jammu and Kashmir region. He finally replied by saying that he would want to see everything work out in a humane way.

PM Khan interjected at this point and told Trump that he wished to discuss the Kashmir issue with him in private. “It needs to be said that eight million people have been living under siege since the past 50 days while 900,000 Indian troops have also been sent there. It is a humanitarian issue,” Khan said.

Imran Khan also said that he would request Trump to urge Modi to lift the curfew in the valley. On this, Trump agreed to discuss the matter further.

He regretted that despite Trump’s offer to mediate the issue, India had adopted a rigid stance and was refusing to talk to Pakistan. “I feel this is the beginning of a crisis and it would get much bigger,” he added.

He also said that as the head of the most powerful country in the world, President Trump had a responsibility to ensure peace in the world. “The US exercises great influence over the United Nations Security Council. We look towards the US to put out flames in the world,” he said.

Meanwhile, Imran Khan said that he intended to discuss the peace process in Afghanistan among other important issues in his private meeting with Trump.

“A stable Afghanistan means a stable Pakistan,” he said, while adding that he wanted to talk to all three neighbours including Afghanistan, India and Iran. “He lives in a very friendly neighbourhood,” Trump quipped.

Hinting towards New Delhi’s move to revoke special constitutional status of occupied Jammu and Kashmir, PM Khan said, “As if there were already not enough challenges in the region.”

Meanwhile, Trump once again offered his services as a mediator between India and Pakistan. He said, “I share a very good relationship with both PM Imran and Modi. At some point if they say we have some point we think can be ironed out, I think I would be an extremely good arbitrator.”

Looking in Imran’s direction, Trump said, “If I can be of help, let me know.” The US president further said, “I don’t think you’ve ever had a [US] president who felt positively about Pakistan as I do.”

While stressing the importance of Pakistan-US ties, Trump said that many countries had requested to meet the US delegation on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) meeting this year, but Pakistan was one of the countries he wanted to meet out of his respect for Khan.

“It is an honour to meet him. He is a good man who happens to be a great athlete,” he said. “Not that it matters. But it is always nice,” he quickly added.

Further, President Trump also said that Pakistan was treated “very badly” by the past American governments. “In the past, you got a lot of dishonesty… people in my position have treated Pakistan very badly. I think I wouldn’t say Pakistan treated us too well either but maybe there was a reason for it,” he said.

Pointing towards PM Khan, President Trump said, “I trust this gentleman right here.” He also said, “I have a lot of Pakistani friends living in New York. They are smart people and great, tough negotiators.”

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