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'Howdy, Modi': How PM Modi fired on Pakistan from Trump’s shoulders

Neither Modi nor Trump mentioned Pakistan or Imran Khan by name. But PM Modi made it very obvious who he was directing his barbs at.
Trump was more nuanced, saying the US understood India's need to secure its borders as he took his usual shot at radical Islamic terrorism.


HOUSTON: The young volunteer beamed at his colleague and exchanged high-fives, exulting “Pakistaniyon ki laylee” (He took Pakistan apart). PM Narendra Modi had just lit into Pakistan and Imran Khan without once naming either in front of Donald Trump, and the crowd had erupted with delight at the public humiliation of a country that was once a part of India.
Sneering at Pakistan for its concern over events in Kashmir despite not being able to manage its own affairs at home and despite its reputation as a global hub for terrorism, Modi called for a decisive war on terrorism, asking the crowd to give a standing ovation to Trump. In fact, the US President had given the opening for Modi to bash Pakistan, having himself generated a standing ovation by railing against “radical Islamic terrorism” that goes beyond Pakistan.
But Modi was quick to seize the moment by linking Pakistan to terrorist events from 9/11 to 26/11, wondering sneeringly how a country that hosted its planners and that was so unstable was worried about India’s effort to manage Kashmir.
The crowd’s response to the Trump-Modi jugalbandi on terrorism was in part driven by the relentless campaign by Pakistan in recent days to paint India – and Modi – as a terrorist entity.
In Houston itself, Pakistan had done its best to rain on the 'Howdy, Modi' parade, going so far as to send one of its federal ministers to join the protestors. They had also roped in disaffected Sikhs and other minorities for a hefty dose of India-bashing, online and onsite. The weather in Houston had relented to make way for a sunny warm day but scores of protestors gathered across the stadium holding placards that declared Modi is a terrorist and accusing India of conducting a genocide in Kashmir.
“Complete nonsense,” said Vivek Shah, who came to the rally with friends from a Houston suburb. “More people are dying in violence in Karachi than in Kashmir.” Others expressed similar anger against Pakistan, one group holding a placard with the legend #PKMKB, a coarse abuse directed at Pakistan that is not fit to print in a family newspaper.
The hashtag would soon rend globally, as anger against Pakistan peaked online.



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