United States President Donald Trump says his country’s relationship with Pakistan is a very good one.
He was addressing a crowd of around 100,000 people at the world’s largest cricket stadium during his maiden visit to India.
“Thanks to these efforts, we are beginning to see signs of big progress with Pakistan and we are hopeful for reduced tensions, greater stability and the future of harmony for all of the nations of South Asia,” said Trump on the first day of his trip.
He also spoke about the US administration working in a “very positive way” with Pakistan to crack down on terrorist organisations and militants.
Trump got a rapturous and romantic welcome to India on Monday, addressing a huge rally and holding hands with his wife at the Taj Mahal, in an official visit big on photo opportunities but short on concrete results, AFP reported.
A huge crowd packed Sardar Patel Stadium in Ahmedabad, dancing to a mixtape of the songs from Trump’s US campaign rallies as they wore masks of Indian Prime Minister Modi and him.
Trump’s penchant for flattery has been noted by many world leaders and Modi — who also commands crowds of adoring flag-waving supporters at rallies — used the occasion to put on a spectacle for the visiting president.
Brightly dressed folk dancers and drummers lined the red carpet as Trump stepped off Air Force One, and hoardings trumpeting the pair’s friendship were erected alongside fluttering US and Indian flags.
Thousands of people pressed against metal barricades on a warm spring afternoon to catch a glimpse of the leaders’ motorcades — although the turnout was far lower than Trump’s prediction of seven million.
“We are here to welcome Trump. I am feeling very happy that my city has the honour of hosting both Trump and Modi,” housewife Romila Bain told AFP while she waited for the motorcade.
As people in the stadium cheered on Modi’s every proclamation, Modi heaped praise on Trump.
“The whole world knows what President Trump has done to fulfil the dreams of America,” the 69-year-old boomed in Hindi behind a large bullet-proof screen.
“India-US relations are no longer just another partnership. It is a far greater and closer relationship,” he said.
With additional input from AFP