Prime Minister Narendra Modi called for a decisive war on those who support terror in US President Donald Trump at the historic 'Howdy, Modi!' event in Houston on Sunday. In a grand show of Indo-American friendship and common vision, the leaders of the two biggest democracies in the world shared the stage at the gala event attended by more than 50,000 people. Modi and Trump pledged to fight terrorism while heaping praise on each other's achievements.
"Energy of NRG (stadium) is a witness of synergy between India and the US...My answer to 'Howdy, Modi' is only this: Everything is Fine in India," he said and repeated this in eight different Indian languages.
PM Modi Targets Pakistan
Without President Trump in the audience, PM Modi hit out at Pakistan for its support to terrorism as he called for a "decisive battle" against terrorism. PM Modi targeted Pakistan and its Prime Minister Imran Khan, without directly naming them. PM Modi said that the people who cannot even manage their own country are harbouring terrorism and supporting terrorism.
"The entire world knows about this," he added.
"Where do you find conspirators of 9/11 and 26/11 terror attacks," Modi said, referring to terror attacks in the US and Mumbai.
"Time has come for a decisive fight against those who promote and support terrorism," he added.
PM Modi On Revoking Article 370
PM Modi did not pull any punches and hit out at Pakistan again saying India's decision to nullify Article 370 has caused trouble to those who cannot handle their country.
"Article 370 encouraged terrorism and separatism in Jammu and Kashmir," he said, asserting that its nullification will allow development and prosperity in the region and end discrimination against women, scheduled castes and scheduled tribes.
He emphasized that Trump is strongly supporting India in the battle against terrorism.
'Abki Baar, Trump Sarkar'
PM Modi gave tacit support to Trump's 2020 re-election bid at the 'Howdy, Modi' event, saying 'Abki Baar, Trump Sarkar". Trump responded with a smile. Modi's pitch will greatly help the Republican Trump in winning votes of nearly four million Indian-Americans who have traditionally voted for the Democrat Party.
"You can feel the strength and depth of the bonds between our two nations," Modi said in his speech to introduce Trump to a wildly cheering crowd of some 50,000 Indians living in the US at the event. "When I met him for the first time, Trump said India has a true friend in the White House. Your presence here is a great testimony to that," Modi said.
He said that he expects positive results from his talks with President Trump in the next few days. "He (Trump) calls me a tough negotiator. But he is an expert in art of the deal. I am learning a lot from him," Modi said. Modi also invited Trump to India with family.
Trump Vows To Fight Islamic Terrorism
Addressing the gathering, President Donald Trump vowed to protect innocent civilians from the threat of radical Islamic terrorism. He added that border security is vital to both America and India as he emphasised on bolstering further the Indo-US security relationship.
"India and the US also understand that to keep our community safe, we must protect our borders. Border security is vital to the US. Border Security is vital to India. And we understand that," he said as Modi clapped.
President Trump emphasised on working closely with India to enhance space co-operation. He praised the contributions of the Indian-Americans, saying they have enriched "our culture and uplifted our values. We are proud to have them as Americans."
Trump also praised Modi's economic reforms and said these have lifted more than three million people out of poverty. "And that is an incredible number," he added.
"In both India and the US, we're seeing something remarkable: Our people are prospering like never before because we are slashing bureaucracy and cutting red tape," Trump said.
A Big Win For PM Modi
The event turned out to be a huge diplomatic victory for Modi. He managed to attract the world's attention and increased his stature with his close rapport with Trump. Trump did not use his official podium with the official seal, but spoke from behind one that had India and US flags on it. Trump also did not bring up the issue of Kashmir.
PM Modi also underscored his government's push for development in India, saying it is the most "discussed" word in the country as his government is "aiming high and achieving higher". He said the presence of such a big gathering is not confined to arithmetic and that people are seeing new history and chemistry being made.
Modi described in detail his efforts towards clean India campaign and sanitation. He also spoke about his fight against corruption.
(With PTI Inputs)