Calling the aid “of no use,” US President Donald Trump mocked the Indian Prime Minister for funding the library in the war-torn country Afghanistan.
Speaking on the role of countries to facilitate dialogue with Afghanistan, Trump, who was addressing his first Cabinet meeting of the year, said, “I could give you an example where I get along very well with India and Prime Minister Modi. But he is constantly telling me, he built a library in Afghanistan. Library! That’s like five hours of what we spend. And we’re supposed to say, ‘Oh, thank you for the library.’ I don’t know who’s using it in Afghanistan?”
It was unclear to which project Trump was referring, but India has committed $3 billion financial aid to Afghanistan since US-led forces toppled the Taliban after the September 11, 2001 attacks.
India has constructed Afghanistan’s Parliament at a cost of $90 million. In 2015, while inaugurating the Parliament building in Kabul, Modi reiterated India’s commitment to “empowering Afghan youth with modern education and professional skills.” Projects have included the reconstruction of an elite high school in Kabul and scholarships to India for 1,000 Afghan students each year.
Alleging that countries were not doing enough in the war-ravaged country, the US President emphasised the need for regional countries, including India, Russia and Pakistan, to fight the Taliban in Afghanistan. He said, “Why is not Russia there (in Afghanistan, fighting the Taliban)? Why isn’t India there? Why isn’t Pakistan there? Why are we (US) there? We are 6,000 miles away. But I don’t mind. We want to help our people. We want to help other nations.”