Donald Trump, PM Modi raise ties: We will destroy radical Islamic terror

In a clear and direct reference to Pakistan-sponsored cross-border terrorism, the joint Indo-US statement said the leaders “called on Pakistan to ensure that its territory is not used to launch terrorist attacks on other countries”.

Written by Shubhajit Roy | Updated: June 28, 2017 5:36 am
Modi US visist, Modi Trump meeting, Modi Trump on terrorism, terrorism, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, Pakistan terrorism, India US ties, India US bilateral relations Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi shakes hands with President Donald Trump, as first lady Melania Trump looks on as Modi departs the White House, Monday, June 26, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Underlining that the security partnership between United States and India is “incredibly” important, President Donald Trump, after his first face-to-face with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, said the two countries, struck by the “evils of terrorism”, are “both determined to destroy terrorist organisations and the radical ideology that drives them. We will destroy radical Islamic terrorism”.

And in a clear and direct reference to Pakistan-sponsored cross-border terrorism, the joint Indo-US statement said the leaders “called on Pakistan to ensure that its territory is not used to launch terrorist attacks on other countries”. They said Pakistan must expeditiously bring to justice the perpetrators of the 26/11 Mumbai strikes, the Pathankot airbase attack and other “cross-border terrorist attacks perpetrated by Pakistan-based groups”.

Stepping into the warm afternoon sun at the White House Rose Garden after their meeting Monday, Trump said he was looking forward to work with Modi. It was then that a sudden gust of wind sent some pages of the Prime Minister’s prepared text flying. There was a brief moment of panic among Indian officials. National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and Reenat Sandhu, Deputy Chief of Mission, sprang from their seats to retrieve the pages from the lawns and hand it back to Modi. After all, they knew the importance of those pages.

Reading from the text, Modi said their meeting marks a “very important page in the history of the collaboration and cooperation between our two nations”. And he used a new description in the Indo-US discourse — of developing a “mutually beneficial strategic partnership” — different from the previous Obama administration. Modi, who spoke for more than ten minutes, gave importance to counter-terrorism cooperation and said they discussed “terrorism, extremism and radicalisation”, the major challenges facing the world today. “Fighting terrorism and doing away with safe shelters, sanctuaries and safe havens will be an important part of our cooperation,” he said, Trump by his side.

Since these statements were made hours after Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin had been designated by the US State Department as a global terrorist, the two sides decided to set up a new “consultation mechanism on domestic and international terrorist designations listing proposals” — something which will be useful to work on listings like that of Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar.

“With respect to our common concerns on terrorism, we will also enhance our sharing of intelligence, and exchange information to deepen and expand our policy coordination as far as possible,” Modi said. The meeting of minds on counter-terrorism cooperation became the big takeaway, and was reflected in the three bear hugs between Modi and Trump during their interaction. The entire first family, including wife Melania Trump, daughter Ivanka Trump and son-in-law Jared Kushner, sat through the media statements, along with senior Cabinet members.

Moving ahead, the two leaders also developed a common position on China’s assertiveness, and this time it went beyond South China Sea to the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). In a sub-section of the joint statement, “Democratic Stalwarts in the Indo-Pacific Region”, it said that Modi and Trump support bolstering regional economic connectivity through transparent development of infrastructure and the use of responsible debt financing practices, while ensuring “respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity”, “the rule of law”, and the environment — a clear reference to the CPEC.

This came almost a month after India boycotted China’s Belt and Road Initiative — the US had sent a mid-level delegation to Beijing for the BRI summit, hosted by Chinese President Xi Jinping. Continuing with their common position on the South China Sea issue, the leaders reiterated the importance of respecting “freedom of navigation, overflight and commerce throughout the region” and called upon all nations to resolve territorial and maritime disputes peacefully and in accordance with international law.

While there was no specific mention of the divergence on the contentious issues of H1B visas and climate change in either leaders’ statements or the joint statement, officials said the leader-level meeting was to give a strategic direction to ties. In fact, on Trump’s America First vs Modi’s Make in India, the Prime Minister made a comment which made Trump smile: “I consider the USA as our primary partner for India’s social and economic transformation in all our flagship programmes and schemes. I am sure that the convergence between my vision for a “new India and President Trump’s vision for ‘making America great again’ will add new dimensions to our cooperation”.

Trump too made a reference to the rollout of the GST regime: “In just two weeks, you will begin to implement the largest tax overhaul in your country’s history”. And then added “we’re doing that also, by the way”. The two sides agreed on “free and fair trade” and said that they plan to undertake a “comprehensive review” of trade relations and their teams to find creative ways to improve bilateral trade.

“I look forward to working with you, Mr Prime Minister, to create jobs in our countries, to grow our economies, and to create a trading relationship that is fair and reciprocal. It is important that barriers be removed to the export of US goods into your markets, and that we reduce our trade deficit with your country,” Trump said, adding that India is creating “thousand and thousands of jobs” by buying aeroplanes.

On Defence ties, India agreed to build on Obama administration’s recognition of India as a Major Defense Partner, and the joints statement confirmed that the US has offered the sale of “Sea Guardian Unmanned Aerial Systems” — commonly known as drones. In his typical style, Trump said “thank you very much for the equipment, ordering equipment from the United States. Always makes us feel very good. There’s nobody makes military equipment like we make military equipment. Nobody even close, so we want to thank you very much”. And they talked about the upcoming MALABAR exercises, and also agreed to to expand engagements on shared maritime objectives and to explore new exercises.

In a concession to the Trump administration, the Indian side also agreed to a strong paragraph on North Korea, condemning its pursuit of the nuclear programme. “The North Korean regime is causing tremendous problems and is something that has to be dealt with, and probably dealt with rapidly,” Trump said, thanking India for supporting sanctions imposed by the US. And the US reiterated its “strong support” for India’s “early” membership into the Nuclear Suppliers’ Group, along with other multilateral export control regimes and reaffirmed support for India’s permanent membership on a reformed UN Security Council.

On another major concern for India about its civilian nuclear cooperation with the US, which was hampered by the Westinghouse bankruptcy, the US side conveyed to India that the company has said it will “rework” its internal structures by the end of the year — implying they will set their house in order — and will go ahead with setting up of six power plants in India.

The joint statement captured this commitment: “Prime Minister Modi and President Trump looked forward to conclusion of contractual agreements between Westinghouse Electric Company and the Nuclear Power Corporation of India for six nuclear reactors in India and also related project financing.”

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    Dwijendra Kumar Debnath
    Jun 28, 2017 at 12:42 pm
    To eliminate terrorism from the world, world need to eliminate Pakistan from the world as they are sponsoring, financing, training, planning, sheltering terrorism. To remove radicalism from the world, Brahmans( group of priest and sadhus) has to be Eliminate from the society as they feels they are super human, they are the people who hate, exploite, destroy the fate of other people of the society since 5000 years . Before Brahmins( priest) regism, there are only one religion in the world. After coming into existence this priest group, they bring hate dividing culture in the society. Many Noble person tried to rectify it since long. Among them , Shree Krishna, Musha, Budha, Christ, trithankar,mohmmad, Shree chaitanyadeb , Guru nanak, are the prominent figure in the world. But, inspite of all that, radicalism has not been Eliminated from the world. So world need to re think in new way how to eliminate radicalism from the world and that is to eliminate the priest group from the world.
    Reply
    1. N
      N Sabesan
      Jun 28, 2017 at 6:14 pm
      my friend, when you say priests, you include Mullas of Islam, Father of Christianity etc?
      Reply
    2. F
      Firdous. Taw jk
      Jun 28, 2017 at 11:34 am
      Trump is world class terrorist.....he cannot destroy the islam even like of the tip of the hair...... ...he is a complete failure to maintain the american troops .........now a days Islam us spreading at a non stop mode... .... future america will be a complete Islamic state
      Reply
      1. M
        Michael
        Jun 30, 2017 at 4:13 am
        What a total brain washed,Islamic radical without common sense as usual...All I can see is total annihilation of Islam from face of the earth. Your pathetic terrorist religion is one major cause of uniting evil men in this world
        Reply
      2. C
        chitta
        Jun 28, 2017 at 9:39 am
        Mussalmaan sabse mahaan
        Reply
        1. B
          bitterhoney
          Jun 28, 2017 at 7:42 am
          Modi ji, apni mitti kutwane kyon gaye the Amrika? Tumko beijjat karke Trump ne poore Bharat ko beijjat kiya hai.
          Reply
          1. I
            IslamForFooools
            Jun 28, 2017 at 7:49 am
            Please pour some acid in your mouth so thta you will never be able to talk
            Reply
          2. M
            Mj
            Jun 28, 2017 at 7:39 am
            For Muslims only their religion matters and their allegiance is only to islam. For them , no love for either country or humanity. Most of them are mentally sick and insecure people, who demand liberal treatment from other societies but are unwilling to provide them the same.
            Reply
            1. C
              Chandu Shah
              Jun 28, 2017 at 1:16 pm
              And no love to other muslims
              Reply
            2. B
              bitterhoney
              Jun 28, 2017 at 7:38 am
              Seeing the picture above anybody can say Trump is angry with Modi, he is scolding Modi on his face. Is baat se Modi ji ki aukat ka pata chalta hai.
              Reply
              1. I
                IslamForFooools
                Jun 28, 2017 at 7:50 am
                Mohemmed k ma ki ch000t Aisha mohememd ki thi. Kuran is equal to toilet paper
                Reply
                1. A
                  Ashok Kumar S
                  Jun 28, 2017 at 9:28 am
                  Friends Pls don't post such words on kuran as it is one of the most accepted holy book in the world like our geetha. Each religion is having a holy book on belief of peoples belongs to the religion which we should not degrade by putting such inappropriate word. It is highly sentimental. Pls think a second before putting such word and also keep in mind at always as we are all humans.
              2. O
                Oneind
                Jun 28, 2017 at 7:29 am
                Sam u r go and ask your mother who is your father
                Reply
                1. O
                  Oneind
                  Jun 28, 2017 at 7:27 am
                  Sam u r go and ask your mother who is your father
                  Reply
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