Published: Sun, January 06, 2019
World News | By Sandy Lane

India dismisses Trump's jibe at Modi on Afghanistan

India dismisses Trump's jibe at Modi on Afghanistan

Trump feels gratified that Pakistan has delivered the Taliban, finally, to the negotiating table.

Reacting to Trump's jibe, senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel said: "Tenor and tone of the U.S. president describing the prime minister of India is not in good taste and is completely unacceptable".

Trump's outbursts of anger over the duplicity of Pakistan's Afghan policy had suggested that Afghanistan could provide a means of solidifying the India-United States partnership.

The Times of India reported pushback from "official sources" in India, who said libraries may be part of that country's community development outlay in Afghanistan, but only a small part in comparison to the billions being spent on roads, dams and Afghanistan's new parliament building.

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Now, the Prime Minister (Modi), who I think is a fantastic man, called me the other day and said we are lowering it to 50 per cent. We are supposed to say, oh thank you for the library. Ok a library. That's like, you know what that is? But it's one of those things.

"So it's not going to have a significant impact if they are going to be taken back", he said.

Prime Minister Modi and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani inaugurated it jointly the building 8 years after, in 2015, and New Delhi has since considered it as a crowning achievement of its efforts there, that have included highways, power projects, hospitals, transportation and support for the country's financial systems. Former Ambassador Shafqat Kakakhel said that every country including Pakistan and Afghanistan have a major stake in peace and stability.

Afghanistan has been embroiled in a severe crisis since the US-led forces toppled the extremist Taliban regime after the 11 September 2001 attacks in the United States.

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India has been one of the most enthusiastic countries over the United States mission in Afghanistan, where the former Taliban regime sheltered fiercely anti-Indian militants. The Indian presence has less to do with boots on the ground and more to do with deep cultural associations forged over millennia and shaped by forces that aren't hobbled by political exigencies. "It also means that through projects, one can give economic security, health security, water security etc. Security needs to be seen through the development lens as well", said a source.

India's ruling and opposition parties condemned U.S. President Donald Trump's comments this week mocking New Delhi's role in war-torn Afghanistan, where the South Asian country has invested billion of dollars in economic projects and military training.

Washington's Pew Research Centre, which conducts annual surveys of USA public opinions on Afghanistan, reported recently that by the end of 2018 the Afghan war had become very unpopular.

Foreign Affairs Minister Salahuddin Rabbani said the Soviet occupation violated Afghanistan's national sovereignty. India also financed the building of the Afghan parliament.

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According to news reports, "India firmly believes in the critical role that developmental assistance can play in transforming human lives". The highway will connect Iran with the Garland Highway, which links Kabul, Kandahar, Mazar-e-Sharif Herat and Kunduz. Stressing the need for mutual cooperation, he said that there is a tremendous potential of medical tourism between Pakistan and Afghanistan where Peshawar city can be a hub for medical tourism.

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