Trump dodges question on Pak terror link

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President Donald J. Trump . (Official White House Photo by D. Myles Cullen)

New York– US President Donald Trump on Monday dodged a question on if he endorsed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s statement that Pakistan is the hub of terrorism, and instead pointed to Iran.

While renewing his offer to mediate on Kashmir, Trump also said that he had heard a “very aggressive statement” by Modi at the Howdy Modi event.

Asked if he endorsed PM Modi’s statement that Pakistan was the hub of terrorism, since Trump has said that Islamabad has made a lot of progress in fighting terror, the US president said: “Well, I really have been pointing much more to Iran. I mean, Iran if you look at what, that’s been really the state of terror. And I’ve been saying it’s the number one state of terror in the world.”

Addressing a press conference with Pakistan PM Imran Khan ahead of their bilateral, Trump, asked if he was happy with the progress that Pakistan has made in countering terrorism, said: “I’ve heard they’ve made great progress. And under this leader (pointing to Imran Khan) – he’s a great leader – I think he wants to make great progress because there’s no solution the other way. The other way is only going to lead to death and chaos and poverty. It’s all it’s going to lead to. I mean, he understands it. Your Prime Minister understands.”

Asked if was concerned about the human rights situation in Kashmir, Trump said: “Sure. I’d like to see everything work out. I want it to be humane. I want everybody to be treated well. You have two big countries, and they’re warring countries and they’ve been fighting.

“And – I mean, I heard a very aggressive statement yesterday. I don’t have to say that. I was there. I didn’t know I was going to hear that statement, I had said. But I was sitting there and I heard a very aggressive statement yesterday from India, from the Prime Minister, and I will say it was very well received within the rule – you know, within in the room. The statement itself. That was a big room; there were 59,000 people.

“But it was a very aggressive statement, and I hope that they’re going to be able to come together – India and Pakistan – and do something that’s really smart and good for both. And I’m sure there could be – there’s always a solution. And I really believe there’s a solution for that.”

Trump and Modi had shared the dais on Sunday in Houston at the Howdy Modi event that was attended by over 50,000 strong Indian diaspora.

Modi had attacked Pakistan as the hub of terror and for the 9/11 attacks and the Mumbai 2008 attacks, and said there should be a definitive war against terrorism. He had also asked the audience to give a standing ovation to Trump for his “determination” to fight terrorism. (IANS)

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