SRINAGAR: United States President Donald Trump on Wednesday brought up India’s aid to Afghanistan and suggested that some of it was of no help, during a press appearance at his first cabinet meeting of the year.
The US president cited India’s efforts towards peace and development in Afghanistan, but appeared to be critical of a library funded by India in Afghanistan. Trump said he got along with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “But he is constantly telling me, he built a library in Afghanistan. Library!” Trump said, according to AFP. “That’s like five hours of what we spend (in Afghanistan). And we’re supposed to say, ‘Oh, thank you for the library.’ I don’t know who’s using it in Afghanistan,” Trump said.
It is unclear to which project Trump was referring, but India has committed $3 billion in assistance to Afghanistan after US-led forces overthrew the Taliban regime following the September 11, 2001 attacks.
Trump also drew a comparison between the expenses incurred by the US and other countries in the peace efforts. “What other countries have done for the last long period of time is given us some soldiers and then talk about it like it’s the end of the world,” he said. “And we are subsidising their military is by billions and billions and billions of dollars, many, many, many times, what those soldiers cost that country.”