Tough, but good: Trump says after talking to Modi

Washington: US President Donald Trump today urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Imran Khan to work towards reducing tensions in the region over Kashmir, describing the situation as ‘tough’.

Trump asked Khan over phone on Monday to ‘moderate rhetoric’ with India, soon after a 30-minute conversation with Modi, during which the Indian leader raised the issue of ‘extreme rhetoric and incitement to anti-India violence’ by leaders of Pakistan.

“Spoke to my two good friends, Prime Minister Modi of India, and Prime Minister Khan of Pakistan, regarding Trade, Strategic Partnerships and, most importantly, for India and Pakistan to work towards reducing tensions in Kashmir,” the US President said in a tweet.

“A tough situation, but good conversations!” he said.

Earlier this month, India abrogated provisions of Article 370 of the Constitution to withdraw Jammu and Kashmir’s special status and bifurcated the state into Union Territories, evoking strong reactions from Pakistan.

Continuing with his tirade against India over the Kashmir issue, Khan on Sunday called the Indian government ‘fascist’ and ‘supremacist’, alleging that it poses a threat to Pakistan as well as to the minorities in India.

Welcoming Trump’s call to Modi and Khan, New York-based Indian-American attorney Ravi Batra said the US President, speaking for all Americans, essentially told ‘our dear friends’ in the subcontinent to live terror-free, be good neighbours and give their citizens a better tomorrow with law and order.

“While speech is free and protected, hate-speech weaponises the citizenry, and leads to insurrection and civil unrest. America has had a love affair with India and Pakistan. It’s time for a belated honeymoon on the subcontinent, even 73 years late,” Batra said.