Trump beside him, Modi says it loud and clear without saying it: “Behave yourself, Pakistan”

Friendship conquers all.
Friendship conquers all.
Image: REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
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The Indian prime minister took Pakistan to the cleaners yesterday (Sept. 22) at Houston’s Howdy, Modi!

Addressing a crowd of over 50,000, with US president Donald Trump sitting in the front row, Narendra Modi received the loudest cheers when he slammed Pakistan—without naming it or its leaders even once—over its sponsorship of terrorism.

“Whether it is the perpetrators of the 9/11 terrorist attack or the 26/11 (November 2008, Mumbai) attacks in India, where were the plotters of these attacks found?” Modi said, adding that the time had come to wage a decisive war against terrorism.

He also took a dig at Pakistan’s Imran Khan government for incessantly criticising India’s move to scrap Jammu & Kashmir’s (J&K) special status.

“Some people who cannot manage their own country have a problem with what we are doing,” Modi said without naming Pakistan. “These people have made hatred their main policy towards India and are supporters of terrorism and it is known to everyone.”

The significance

This is the first time on the global stage, especially in the presence of the US president, that Modi has defended India’s move to change Jammu & Kashmir’s political map.

Modi’s comments came a day before president Trump’s meeting with Pakistan prime minister, Imran Khan, the first such engagement since the US president offered mediation on Kashmir earlier this month.

Khan is also scheduled to address the UN General Assembly (UNGA) on Sept. 27, during which he will inevitably raise Kashmir. India’s permanent representative to the UN, Syed Akbaruddin, has already said that “rants and theatrics do not work at UNGA.”

Earlier, Pakistan had approached a host of countries, including the P-5 (China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States) and Islamic ones, for support over Jammu & Kashmir, but with little success.

On Sept. 21, it even failed to prove in the UN its previous claim of having the support of 58 nations on the issue.

The Indian PM’s sharp comments at Howdy, Modi! may now have scattered whatever little was left of Pakistan’s campaign.