After having a virtual war of words with Prime Minister Imran Khan over financial aid to Pakistan recently, US President Donald Trump on Wednesday took potshots at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, mocking India's construction efforts in war-ravaged Afghanistan. The US President, during a press conference at a cabinet meeting, suggested India's funding of a library in Afghanistan was of no use. Trump said while he got along well with PM Modi, he didn't like Modi "constantly telling me he built a library in Afghanistan."
Comparing the US assistance work with India's humanitarian efforts in Afghanistan, Trump said the amount, which India might have spent on that library, was five hours of work the US does in the country. "You know what that is? That's like five hours of what we spend. And we're supposed to say, 'Oh, thank you for the library.' I don't know who's using it in Afghanistan," Trump added. However, it was not clear about what particular project the US President was talking about when he referred to PM Modi.
Notwithstanding Trump's remarks, India has carried out several developmental works in the country, which also riled the neighbouring country of Pakistan.
As per international news agency AFP, India has committed $3 billion in assistance to Afghanistan since the US-led forces toppled the extremist Taliban regime after the September 11, 2001 attacks. Apart from providing assistance in several road projects and humanitarian works, the Indian government also offers scholarships to as many as 1,000 Afghan students each year to India. India also financed the building of the Afghan parliament.
Reports suggest the US, under Trump's policy of spending less overseas, last month had decided to pull back around 7,000 of its total 14,000 military personnel in the war-torn country.
Edited by Manoj Sharma