PM Modi is the father of India, says Donald Trump

PM Modi is the father of India, says Donald Trump

India Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump. AFP Photo

United States President Donald Trump on Tuesday called Prime Minister Narendra Modi “Father of India”, even as he nudged him to hold talks with his Pakistan counterpart Imran Khan to settle disputes between the two neighbours.

Trump, however, declined to endorse India's position that Pakistan was an epicentre of international terrorism. The US President rather insisted that Iran should be “on the top of the list (of the countries supporting terrorism)”.

“I really believe that Prime Minister Modi and Prime Minister Khan will get along when they get to know each other, I think a lot of good things will come from that meeting (between the leaders of India and Pakistan),” said Trump, who had a bilateral meeting with Modi at the United Nations headquarters in New York. 

He was responding to a question on the US approach to deal with terrorism emanating out of Pakistan. He said that both Modi and Khan were “great gentlemen” and they could work things out.

Modi told Trump that India was not shying away from talks with Pakistan, but expected certain concrete steps to be taken by the government of the neighbouring country to stop cross-border terrorism but had not yet seen any effort by Islamabad, Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale later told journalists.

When Trump mocked Pak reporters

Though the bonhomie between Modi and Trump was on full display at the NRG stadium in Houston just two days back, India-US engagement came under stress before the two leaders met in New York on Tuesday.

Trump told journalists before a meeting with Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan in New York late on Monday that he would want New Delhi to treat all well and be humane in its approach to people in Kashmir. Even as New Delhi repeatedly rejected his offers over the past few weeks to mediate between India and Pakistan, US President once again underlined that he would be “an extremely good arbitrator” on the issue of Kashmir.

He also said that although he had joined Modi at the conclave of Indian-Americans in Houston, he was not aware that Prime Minister of India would make such “aggressive” remarks.

Trump says he deserves Nobel Prize

Trump was listening to Modi on Sunday when Prime Minister explained the rationale of his government’s August 5 move to end the special status of Jammu and Kashmir and to reorganize the state into two Union Territories evoked applause from the audience.

Prime Minister also lashed out at Pakistan, albeit without naming it, for opposing New Delhi’s decisions as well as for exporting terror to India, the US and elsewhere around world.

Trump, however, showered praise on Modi when the two leaders met again in New York on Tuesday. “He is a great gentleman and a great leader. I remember India before was very torn. There was a lot of dissension, fighting and he brought it all together. Like a father would bring it together. Maybe he is the Father of India. We'll call him the Father of India,” US President said with a smiling Prime Minister sitting with him.