Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Narendra Modi-Donald Trump meet: Camaraderie between India, US rattles China, Pakistan

In a stern warning to Pakistan, India and the US on Tuesday asked Islamabad to ensure that its soil is not used for cross-border terror.

China and Pakistan seem to be rattled by the bonhomie between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump.
While a a state-run Chinese Daily said on Tuesday that any attempt by India to become US ally to counter China will not be in its interests and could even lead to 'catastrophic results', Pakistan today slammed as 'completely unjustified' the decision by United States to declare Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin as a 'global terrorist'.
"Washington and New Delhi share anxieties about China's rise. In recent years, to ratchet up geopolitical pressure on China, the US has cozied up to India," an article in the Global Times said.
Underlining that India is not a US ally like Japan or Australia, it said, "To assume a role as an outpost country in the US' strategy to contain China is not in line with India's interests. It could even lead to catastrophic results."
The Daily said if India regresses from its non-alignment stance and becomes a 'pawn' for the US in countering China, it will be caught up in a strategic dilemma and new geopolitical frictions will be triggered in South Asia.
With an eye on China and the disputes in the South China Sea, PM Modi and Trump after their meeting in the White House called for freedom of navigation and resolving of territorial and maritime disputes peacefully in accordance with international law.
A joint statement on the meeting said as responsible stewards in the Indo-Pacific region, Trump and PM Modi agreed that a close partnership between the US and India is central to peace and stability in the region.
The Chinese Daily in the article said both former Soviet Union and the US under Kennedy presidency tried to pit India against China but the results were not 'satisfactory'.
"From the end of the 1950s to the beginning of the 1960s, both the Soviet Union and the US wanted to play the India card to check China. Then the Kennedy government supported India's Forward Policy. But the result wasn't what was expected. India isn't able to balance China, which has been proved by history," it said.
Asserting that India should avoid being roped into a 'geopolitical trap', the Daily said despite New Delhi's anxieties over Beijing's rise, maintaining a stable relationship with China is of more importance to its security and development.
'US designating Salahuddin as global terrorist unjustified'
On the other hand, the Pakistan Foreign Ministry said in a statement in Islamabad today without naming Salahuddin, "Pakistan shall continue to extend political, diplomatic and moral support for the just struggle of the Kashmiri people for the realisation of the right to 'self-determination' and the peaceful resolution of the Jammu and Kashmir 'dispute' in accordance with UN Security Council Resolutions. The designation of individuals supporting the Kashmiri right to 'self-determination' as terrorists is completely unjustified," as per PTI.
"Pakistan has demonstrated a longstanding commitment of combating terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. The people and government of Pakistan have rendered immense sacrifices in both blood and treasure to end this scourge, which has been acknowledged by the international community," the spokesperson added.
The US yesterday declared Salahuddin as a 'global terrorist', dealing a major blow to Pakistan.
In a notification, the US State Department said Salahuddin, who hails from Kashmir and is based in Pakistan for the last 28 years, "has committed, or poses a significant risk of committing, acts of terrorism."
The US took the step against the militant group's 71-year-old head, whose original name is Mohammed Yusuf Shah, as he had "vowed to block any peaceful resolution to the Kashmir conflict, threatened to train more Kashmiri suicide bombers, and vowed to turn the Kashmir Valley into a graveyard for Indian forces".
PM Modi, Trump decide to broaden Indo-US strategic, defence, trade ties; boost fight against terror
Meanwhile, in a stern warning to Pakistan, India and the US today asked Islamabad to ensure that its soil is not used for cross-border terror with PM Modi and President Trump vowing to boost their fight against terror groups like ISIS, JeM, LeT and D-Company.
As the two leaders held their maiden meeting at the White House and displayed a lot of chemistry, the two countries also called on Pakistan to 'expeditiously' bring to justice the perpetrators of the Mumbai, Pathankot attacks and other cross-border terrorist assaults by Pakistan-based groups.
PM Modi and Trump also decided to broaden the Indo-US strategic, defence and trade ties.
"Our robust strategic partnership is such that it touches upon almost all areas of human endeavor. In our conversation today, President Trump and I have discussed all dimensions of India-US relations at length. Both nations are committed to a bilateral architecture that will take our strategic partnership to new heights," PM Modi told reporters in his joint press statement with Trump at the White House Rose Garden.
"Eliminating terrorism is among the top-most priorities for us," PM Modi said.
Trump on his part, said, "During my campaign, I pledged that if elected, India would have a true friend in the White House. And that is now exactly what you have - a true friend. Working together, I truly believe our two countries can set an example for many other nations, make great strides in defeating common threats, and make great progress in unleashing amazing prosperity and growth."
"I would say the relationship between India and the United States has never been stronger, has never been better. I look forward to working with you, Mr prime minister, to create jobs in our countries, to grow our economies and to create a trading relationship that is fair and reciprocal," the US President told PM Modi.
Trump said both nations are 'determined' to destroy terrorist organisations and the radical ideology that drives them.
The leaders also affirmed their support for a UN Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism that will advance and strengthen the framework for global cooperation and reinforce the message that no cause or grievance justifies terrorism, the joint statement said.
The Trump administration also confirmed that it had given its approval to the multi-million dollar sale of a transport carrier to India, along with a separate purchase of around 20 Guardian drones. 
Indian Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar, while briefing reporters on the meeting, later said that the two nations noted that in their joint statement that terrorism is a global scourge that must be fought in every part of the world, and the US and India would do it together.
PM Modi today met Trump for their first summit today in Washington. The two leaders had spoken over phone thrice before this meeting.

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