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March 31, 2020
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India news TNN | Updated: Feb 25, 2020, 06:04 ISTUS President Donald Trump speaks during a “Namaste Trump,” event at Sardar Patel Gujarat Stadium. (AP)NEW DELHI: The loudest cheer for President Donald Trump went up when he spoke of US commitment to working with India to fight terrorists and their ideology and working to defend Indian and American citizens from radical Islamic terrorism. While making an important point from the Indian view, Trump also said the US and Pakistan enjoyed a good relationship and added it was paying off. “Our relationship with Pakistan is a very good one. Thanks to these efforts, we are beginning to see signs of big progress with Pakistan and we are hopeful for reduced tensions, greater stability and the future of harmony for all of the nations of South Asia,” he said. A part of his remarks was immediately highlighted by Pakistani media though he was quite unequivocal on Islamabad and terrorism, saying his office was working with Pakistan in a “very positive way” to crack down on terror organisations and militants that operate on the “Pakistani border”. India would hope for an even clearer statement after official talks on Tuesday given its position that no substantive bilateral engagement can take place in view of cross-border terrorism – a stance it has has held after the Pathankot terror attack in January 2016. Trump’s remarks may have a bearing on a peace deal with Taliban where Pakistani functionaries have underlined Islamabad’s criticality. Trump’s remark on Pakistan also has to be seen in conjunction with comments made by a senior US administration official that the president was very much encouraging a reduction in tensions between India and Pakistan and also encouraging them to engage in bilateral dialogue to resolve differences. While the official had said the “core foundation” of any successful dialogue between India and Pakistan was based on continued momentum in Islamabad’s efforts to crack down on terrorists on its territory, he had also said that Trump was going to urge both countries to maintain peace and stability along the Line of Control and refrain from actions or statements that could increase tensions in the region. For India, though, the real test will be to extract an unequivocal condemnation of cross-border terrorism in the Trump-Modi joint statement on Tuesday, something which India successfully managed in their first summit in 2017. It won’t be easy with the US desperate to go ahead with its emerging truce agreement with the Taliban, one in which Pakistan claims to have played a stellar role. more from times of india news
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