India responds to Trump’s jibe at Modi on Afghanistan

Donald Trump and Narendra Modi
Donald Trump and Narendra Modi

India has been putting in place a number of infrastructure projects in Afghanistan, and this developmental assistance can play an important role in transforming the country, Indian officials said on Thursday (3), a day after US president Donald Trump took a dig at Narendra Modi for funding a library in Afghanistan.

Trump brought up India’s aid during a cabinet meeting on Wednesday (2) and said the library was of no use to Afghanistan and said India and its neighbouring countries weren’t doing enough for the country’s security.

Saying he shared a good rapport with Modi, Trump said the Indian leader was “constantly telling me he built a library in Afghanistan.”

“You know what that is? That’s like five hours of what we spend,” Trump said.

“And we’re supposed to say, ‘Oh, thank you for the library.’ I don’t know who’s using it in Afghanistan,” Trump said.

Responding to Trump’s comments, a source said most of India’s investments in Afghanistan were on infrastructure projects, including the 218 km road from Zaranj to Delaram, the Salma Dam, which was inaugurated in 2016, and the new Afghan Parliament building, reported Press Trust of India (PTI).

Inaugurating the Parliament building in 2015, Modi promised to promote programmes to empower “Afghan youth with modern education and professional skills.”

India has also been providing training to hundreds of Afghan security personnel besides supplying military equipment to the war-torn country.

India has also been working with Afghanistan in the areas of education, health, agriculture, irrigation, drinking water, renewable energy, flood control, micro-hydropower, sports infrastructure and administrative infrastructure.

“India seeks to build capacities and capabilities of Afghan nationals and its institutions for governance and delivery of public service, develop socio-economic infrastructure, secure lives and promote livelihood,” said a source, reported PTI.