Modi, Trump discuss co-operation in Afghanistan over phone

Donald Trump and Narendra Modi
Donald Trump and Narendra Modi

India prime minister Narendra Modi and US president Donald Trump discussed the need to increase their cooperation in war-torn Afghanistan during a telephonic conversation.

According to the White House, they also agreed to expand security and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific.

Their conversation took place just days after Trump took a shot at Modi for funding a “library” in Afghanistan, saying it was of no use to the war-torn country.

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.