Imran's anti-India rant not good for peace: PM to Trump

Modi held a 30-minute conversation with the US President (AP File Photo)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday told United States President Donald Trump that his Pakistani counterpart Imran Khan's rhetoric inciting violence against India was not conducive to peace in the region.

Modi expressed hope during a phone call with Trump that Commerce Minister of India and the US Trade Representative would meet at an early date to explore ways to address mutual concerns in the area of bilateral commerce.

Modi called up Trump a day after Khan accused him of running a “Hindu Supremacist” Government that posed not only a threat to Pakistan, but also to minorities in India. Khan had recently called Trump to discuss the situation in Kashmir after New Delhi's recent moves.

“In the context of the regional situation, PM @narendramodi stated that extreme rhetoric and incitement to anti-India violence by certain leaders in the region was not conducive to peace,” Prime Minister's Office tweeted after he spoke to the United States President over the phone.

This is the first time Modi and Trump spoke over the phone after New Delhi strongly refuted US President's claim that Prime Minister had requested him to play the role of a mediator to help settle India-Pakistan dispute over Kashmir.

Trump conveyed to Modi "importance of reducing tensions between India and Pakistan and maintaining peace in the region", according to a statement released by the White House in Washington DC late on Monday.

Both Modi and Trump will travel to Biarritz in France later this week to attend the G-7 summit, but the officials of the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) in New Delhi said that no bilateral meeting between the two leaders on the sideline of the summit had been scheduled yet.

Prime Minister and the US President spoke for 33 minutes over the phone on Monday and covered bilateral and regional matters, according to a press release issued by the MEA in New Delhi. “He highlighted the importance of creating an environment free from terror and violence and eschewing cross-border terrorism without exception.”

Pakistan launched a diplomatic campaign against India after Modi Government on August 5 moved to strip Jammu and Kashmir of its special status and reorganize the state into two Union Territories. Khan Government in Islamabad alleged that the move was a ploy by New Delhi to “forcibly change” the demography of the territory, which was a subject of dispute between India and Pakistan. New Delhi, however, dismissed the allegation, asserting that its moves on J&K were “internal” affairs of India. Pakistan also accused the security forces of India of rampant violation of human rights in Kashmir.

“The world must also seriously consider the safety and security of India's nuclear arsenal in the control of the fascist, racist Hindu Supremacist Modi Govt. This is an issue that impacts not just the region but the world,” Khan posted on Twitter after an informal consultation of the United Nations Security Council in New York on Friday saw Pakistan and its “iron brother” China failing to bring the issue of J&K back on the Horse-Shoe Table. His tweet followed a remark by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday indicating that India might review its policy of not using the nuclear weapons first (No First Use doctrine) if it was necessary.

Prime Minister reiterated to American President India's commitment “to cooperate” with “anyone” who followed the path of eschewing terror, in fighting poverty, illiteracy and disease.

During his call with Trump, Modi recalled that Monday marked the 100 years of the Independence of Afghanistan. He reiterated India’s long-standing and unwavering commitment to working for united, secure, democratic and truly independent Afghanistan.

The US has been pursuing a peace process with Taliban in Afghanistan.

Prime Minister also stated that he appreciated remaining in regular touch with US President, said the MEA spokesperson.

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