After Trump's India Jibe, Twitterati Pounce on Him for 'Unhinged Rants'

President Donald Trump and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi step into the Rose Garden to make joint statements at the White House. ─ AP  File

Trump Gives Weird History Lesson on Afghanistan and Russia

US President Donald Trump on Wednesday laughed at Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi for funding a library in Afghanistan, suggesting it was of no use.

US President Donald Trump's comments mocking New Delhi's role in Afghanistan have drawn widespread ridicule and anger both in India and Afghanistan.

Responding to questions during the meeting, Trump appeared frustrated over the United States extended involvement in Afghanistan, and suggested that he wanted the regional countries involved and taking charge including India, Russia and Pakistan to fight the Taliban.

Even as the USA recently walked back on reports that it was planning to withdraw 7,000 troops from Afghanistan, Kabul has accelerated its preparations for the highly-likely scenario of large-scale disengagement by the Trump administration. He is very smart. To make matters worse, the US President even wondered who would use a library in Afghanistan. But it's one of those things.

"And we are supposed to say oh, thank you for the library", the president said, sarcasm intended, knowing he was on air, live and recording, which would be watched in New Delhi.

"Hope our government responds firmly and reminds America that since 2004, India has built extensive roads, dams in Afghanistan and pledged over $3 billion in assistance", he tweeted.

It's not just that the US President doesn't appreciate the importance of soft power, but that the Indian government fundamentally misread the American leader to the point of thinking that he actually does and that no one in their intelligence community realized what a serious error of judgement this was.

Earlier, South Carolina Senator Lindsay Graham, who is considered close to President Trump, told CNN in an interview that if Pakistan helped the U.S. in bringing the Taliban to the table for negotiations, then the USA would focus on counterterrorism and the ISIS. India also financed the building of the Afghan parliament.

The Afghan war will come to an end if we go to Pakistan and offer a free trade agreement to get them to push the Taliban to the peace table, he added.

Trump alleged that he provided for a generous budget for the Pentagon but the result in Afghanistan is "not too good".

The e-book details the projects undertaken over the years in Afghanistan, where India under successive governments has been a significant development partner.

Also, over 3,500 Afghans are undergoing various training programmes in India.

India has been actively involved in reconstruction efforts in war-ravaged Afghanistan.

India has been favouring an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process to bring peace and stability in that country.

As the "largest donor in the region", New Delhi has helped with infrastructure projects, humanitarian assistance and economic development, the statement added. "The US reaped tremendous economic benefits from winning the Cold War yet [they] abandoned Afghanistan", he said.

To begin with, it is time to recognise that the U.S.'s South Asia Strategy for Afghanistan, as announced by Mr. Trump in August 2017, has been discarded. "It is Pakistan's genuine desire that peace returns to Afghanistan allowing the return of Afghan refugees from Pakistan and beginning of an era of prosperity and normalcy in the region", he said.

Trump's fascination for India has been all about Modi's utility for the "America First" project.

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