NEW DELHI :
The “extreme rhetoric" of certain South Asian leaders, inciting violence against India, is not helping the cause of regional peace, Prime Minister Narendra Modi told US President Donald Trump over a 30-minute telephone conversation on Monday, a day after his Pakistani counterpart compared India to Nazi Germany.
The conversation between the two leaders came just days after Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan spoke to President Trump on the Kashmir issue.
“In the context of the regional situation, the prime minister stated that extreme rhetoric and incitement to anti-India violence by certain leaders in the region was not conducive to peace. He highlighted the importance of creating an environment free from terror and violence and eschewing cross-border terrorism without exception," a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office said.
“The prime minister reiterated India’s commitment to cooperate with anyone who followed this path, in fighting poverty, illiteracy and disease," the statement added.
On Sunday, Khan tweeted: “India has been captured, as Germany had been captured by Nazis, by a fascist, racist Hindu Supremacist ideology & leadership.This threatens 9m Kashmiris under siege in IOK for over 2 weeks which shd have sent alarm bells ringing across the world with UN Observers being sent there."
Khan’s last ditch attempt to draw the US to its side ahead of a UN Security Council meet failed on Friday when after speaking to him, Trump said India and Pakistan should sort out the matter bilaterally.
Modi and Trump are widely expected to meet on the sidelines of the Group of Seven meeting later this month at the coastal town of Biarritz in France at the invitation of French president Emmanuel Macron.
“On the sidelines, Prime Minister will be having bilateral meetings with leaders of other countries," the ministry of external affairs said.
Ties between India and Pakistan have been tense since India amended its Constitution to end the special status enjoyed by Jammu and Kashmir. Pakistan condemned the move and called on the UNSC for an open consultation on Kashmir. While Pakistan’s request was rejected, the UNSC agreed to China’s demand for a closed door consultation on the matter. A closed door meeting was held but a majority of the members of the Security Council were of the view that India and Pakistan should sort out the Kashmir issue bilaterally. The members also said no statement or outcome would be issued after the consultations, leaving China and Pakistan to make their own statements.
During the telephonic conversation, Modi also expressed hope that India’s commerce minister Piyush Goyal and the US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer would meet “at an early date to discuss bilateral trade prospects for mutual benefit".
Modi and Trump had last met on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in June in Osaka, Japan where they resolved to narrow down differences on trade matters.
The bilateral trade relationship between the strategic partners has hit a low with the US withdrawing developing country exports benefits granted to India and New Delhi retaliating by imposing tariffs on a number of agricultural imports from the US. Trump has often called India “tariff king" claiming it pursues unfair trade practices. Proposed stringent data protection norms and e-commerce regulations by India have become the latest flashpoint between the two sides.