Talking to Trump, Modi hits out at Imran’s anti-India rhetoric

In their first conversation after change in Jammu and Kashmir, PM reiterates commitment to cooperation

GN Bureau | August 20, 2019


#Narendra Modi   #Donald Trump   #Imran Khan   #Pakistan   #Kashmir   #Article 370   #Diplomacy  
File Photo: White House via Flickr
File Photo: White House via Flickr

Prime minister Narendra Modi has told US president Donald Trump that Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan’s “incitement to anti-India violence” was not good for peace in south Asia.

Modi and Trump had a telephonic conversation – their first since the Aug 5 move to change the status of Jammu and Kashmir – on Monday evening. Their thirty-minute conversation “covered bilateral and regional matters and was marked by the warmth and cordiality which characterises the relations between the two leaders”, an official statement said. 

When the two leaders discussed the regional situation, Modi “stated that extreme rhetoric and incitement to anti-India violence by certain leaders in the region was not conducive to peace. He highlighted the importance of creating an environment free from terror and violence and eschewing cross-border terrorism without exception”, according to the statement – without making a direct reference to Kashmir or Imran Khan.

Further, Modi reiterated “India’s commitment to cooperate with anyone who followed this path, in fighting poverty, illiteracy and disease”. 

Trump also had a telephonic conversation with Khan the same day. The US president took to Twitter to remark: “Spoke to my two good friends, Prime Minister Modi of India, and Prime Minister Khan of Pakistan, regarding Trade, Strategic Partnerships and, most importantly, for India and Pakistan to work towards reducing tensions in Kashmir. A tough situation, but good conversations!”

Modi’s reference was to Khan’s aggressive remarks after the Indian parliament passed a legislation to change the status of Jammu and Kashmir and reorganize the border state.

Modi also recalled their meeting in Osaka on the margins of G-20 summit in June-end earlier this year. Referring to their bilateral discussions in Osaka, the prime minister expressed the hope that the Indian commerce minister and the US trade representative would meet soon to discuss bilateral trade prospects for mutual benefit.

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