Imran Khan criticizes Trump-Modi statement, says it ‘removes morality from US foreign policy’

Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan on Thursday criticized Trump administration on its foreign policy for South Asia and several aspects of the joint statement made by President Trump and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the latter’s visit to Washington earlier this week.

US President Donald Trump and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi embrace while delivering joint statements in the Rose Garden, June 26, 2017.

In the first of several tweets, the cricketer-turned-politician noted that the joint statement made at the White House by the leaders of the world’s two largest economies had left US foreign policy bare of morality.

“Trump-Modi statement has removed fig leaf of morality and justice in US foreign policy which is now only based on arms sales and financial gains,” the PTI chief wrote on Twitter.

The PTI chief was referring to the sale of high-tech US military hardware to India, which was approved by the Trump administration during Modi’s two-day visit to Washington.

The transaction included the purchase of $2 billion of naval surveillance drones by India and a $366 million C-17 transport plane.

With the sale of the military equipment, the US and Indian governments hope for greater military and security co-operation in the region. The United States treats India like a “major defense partner” — a designation the Obama administration gave the country in 2016.

Trump called the security partnership with India “incredibly important” and said both nations would work together to “destroy radical Islamic terrorism.”

“Both our nations have been struck by the evils of terrorism and we are both determined to destroy terrorist organizations and the radical ideology that drives them,” Trump said.

Modi, speaking through a translator, emphasized this cooperation and the lengths India has gone to help the United States in Afghanistan.

Afghan policy will prevent resolution

In subsequent tweets, the PTI chief also criticized the Trump administration’s Afghan policy and the US’s recognition of India’s role in Afghanistan.

“Trump has no business giving India an interventionist role in Afghanistan when, unlike India, it is Pakistan that shares border with Afghanistan,” Khan wrote on Twitter.

“Trump’s Afghan policy will only aggravate the already deteriorating situation there and prevent resolution of the conflict,” Khan warned.

During bilateral talks with the Indian prime minister, Trump said he wanted to “thank the Indian people” for their contribution to development in Afghanistan.

Modi had in turn said India “would maintain close consultation and communication with the US” to achieve the joint goal of “peace and stability.”

The US had also offered to help New Delhi in cementing its ties with Kabul.

Concerns were raised in the US and Islamabad that such measures by the Trump administration could jeopardize Pak-US relations and raise tensions between Pakistan and India.

Washington is considering deploying up to 5,000 extra troops to help local forces fighting insurgent groups in Afghanistan.

The deployment will be the largest of American manpower under Trump’s young presidency which is still in the process of formulating its Afghan policy.

‘Trump siding with oppressor’

Khan further asserted that the US move to designate Syed Salahuddin, a senior figure in the Kashmiri separatist group Hizbul Mujahideen, as a global terrorist was a sign that Trump had aligned with “oppressor India”.

He likened Indian oppression in Kashmir to the oppression of Palestinians that, he said, has the support of Washington.

“By trying to lump indigenous Kashmiri freedom struggle as terrorism Trump siding with oppressor India as US supports oppressor in Palestine,” Khan wrote on Twitter.

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