Even as he is visiting Ahmedabad, Agra and New Delhi just on the eve of the first anniversary of India’s air-strike on a terror camp in Pakistan; US President Donald Trump on Monday appeared to have carefully avoided rubbing the Imran Khan government the wrong way.
Trump trod cautiously on the issue of export of terrorism from Pakistan to India, even as he spoke about the menace while addressing the huge crowd at Motera.
“The United States and India are committed to working together to stop terrorists and to fight their ideology,” he said, with his host, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on the podium and listening to him carefully. “For this reason,” the US President said amid applause, “since taking office, my administration is working in a very positive way with Pakistan to crack down on the terrorist organisations and militants that operate on the Pakistani border”.
Trump added: “Our (United States’) relationship with Pakistan is a very good one.”
“Thanks to these efforts, we are beginning to see signs of big progress with Pakistan,” he went on, almost lending credibility to Khan government’s claim about cracking down on terrorist outfits.
Trump is visiting Ahmedabad and New Delhi just a year after tension between India and Pakistan had escalated over February 14, 2019, terrorist attack on CRPF at Pulwama. The attack had been carried out by Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), a terrorist organisation, which had launched several attacks in India from its bases in Pakistan in the past. India had retaliated the February 14, 2019 attack with an air-strike on a JeM terrorist training camp at Balakot on February 26, 2019. The US had publicly supported India after the Pulwama attack. It had also played a key behind-the-scenes role to stop the tension between the two nations from turning into a full-fledged military conflict.
Yet, Trump on Monday refrained from playing to the gallery and lambasting Pakistan for exporting terror to India — apparently because his administration in Washington DC is now close to signing a peace agreement with Taliban in Afghanistan and it was the Khan government that helped the US interlocutors work out the deal.
The US and India have of late not been on the same page on the role Pakistan plays in sponsoring terrorism in the region.