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United States President Donald Trump on Wednesday took a jibe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for funding a library in the war-torn country, Afghanistan which he believed was of no use.
The US president referred to Modi as an example of how world leaders are talking about their contributions that were nowhere near the “billions of dollars” the US was spending.
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 (in Afghanistan).”
“And he (Modi) tells me. He is very smart. We are supposed to say, oh thank you for the library. Don’t know who’s using it (the library) in Afghanistan. But it’s one of those things. I don’t like being taken advantage of,” he added.
Reacting to Trump’s remark, Indian official sources told PTI India has been implementing a range of mega infrastructure projects as well as carrying out community development programmes in Afghanistan as per requirement of its people. They said such assistance would go a long way in making the country economically empowered and stable.
It further said that most of India investments in Afghanistan were on mega infrastructure projects including the 218 km road from Zaranj to Delaram, the Salma Dam and the new Afghan Parliament building.
Besides mega infrastructure projects, India is implementing 116 new ‘High Impact Community Development Projects’ in 31 provinces of Afghanistan, including in the areas of education, health, agriculture, irrigation, drinking water, renewable energy, flood control, micro-hydropower, sports infrastructure, administrative infrastructure.
The sources said India plays a significant role in the country as its development partner and that the partnership is built on the specific needs and requirements worked out with the Afghan government.
“India seeks to build capacities and capabilities of Afghan nationals and its institutions for governance and delivery of public service, develop socio-economic infrastructure, secure lives and promote livelihood,” said a source.