New Delhi: US President Donald Trump said both his country and India are firmly united in their iron-clad resolve to defend their citizens from the threat of radical Islamic terrorism. He said his administration is “working in a very positive way with Pakistan to crackdown on terrorist organisations and militants that operate on the Pakistani border”.
Standing with Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Motera Stadium in Ahmedabad, which is the world’s largest cricket stadium, Mr Trump also declared that the two countries would “sign deals” of $3 billion on Tuesday involving the sale of military helicopters and other equipment to the Indian armed forces”.
He said the US “looks forward to providing India with some of the best and most feared military equipment on the planet”.
These remarks are being seen as further acceptance of India’s concerns on cross-border terrorism from Pakistan and also indicate how the US is eyeing India’s growing defence market.
The US President, who is on a two-day visit to India, also said that the two countries were “in the early stages of discussion for an incredible trade agreement to reduce barriers of investment”. He added that Mr Modi is a tough negotiator.
In his initial remarks, Mr Modi described Indo-US ties as “not just another partnership” but rather a “far greater and closer relationship”.
“Friendship is where trust is unshakeable”, he said. “Long-live Indo-US friendship”, Mr Modi chanted, as the huge crowd chorused after him.
Mr Modi also praised the US President and his family members, describing President Trump as a “big thinker”, adding, “I present to you my friend — Donald Trump”.
The US President told the one lakh-strong crowd at the stadium that “America loves India, America respects India, and America will always be faithful and loyal friends to the Indian people”.
He also hailed the co-existence of all religious communities in India, and the country’s rise as a “peaceful, democratic, tolerant” nation.
“India has become an economic giant, the largest democracy ever to exist, and one of the most amazing nations anywhere in the world... Your nation has always been admired around the Earth as the place where millions upon millions of Hindus and Muslims and Sikhs and Jains, Buddhists, Christi-ans, and Jews worship side by side in harmony; where you speak more than 100 languages and come from more than two dozen states, yet you have always stood strong as one great Indian nation. Your unity is an inspiration to the world.” Mr Trump said.
“From this day on, India will always hold a very special place in our hearts,” the US President said.
Significantly, towards the end of the event, Mr Modi also mentioned the abolition of instant triple talaq (divorce) benefiting Muslim women as one of the achievements of his government.
Referring to Mr Modi’s humble origins, Mr Trump continued, “Prime Minister Modi, you are not just the pride of Gujarat — you are living proof that with hard work and devotion, Indians can accomplish anything — anything at all, anything they want.”
Earlier, Mr Trump and First Lady Melania Trump visited Mahatma Gandhi’s Sabarmati Ashram accompanied by Mr Modi.
Mr Trump later visited Agra along with his accompanying family-members and others in the delegation to see the iconic Taj Mahal before reaching New Delhi later in the evening where he will hold talks with Mr Modi on Tuesday....