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22 May 2017

India is a 'victim of terror': Donald Trump

Is Trump toughening his stance against homegrown terror?

Speaking at the Arab-Islamic US Summit at Riyadh recently, President Trump named India, along with nations in Africa and Europe as one of the victims of terrorism, having "endured unspeakable horror".

Indirectly referring to Pakistan, he further added that, "Every nation has an absolute duty to ensure that terrorists find no quarter on their soil."

Is America putting its foot down with home-grown terrorism?

In context

Is Trump toughening his stance against homegrown terror?


What context was the statement made in?

President Trump is currently on a 9-day long foreign trip covering Middle East and Europe. Stopping first in Saudi Arabia, he urged Arab nations to step up their fight against home-grown terror. Trump is also expected to broker a peace deal between Israel and Palestine.

A US intelligence threat assessment report released earlier this month had blamed Pakistan for deteriorating bilateral ties with India


Trump's revamped stance on Islam and terrorism

Departing from his earlier anti-Islam rhetoric, Trump termed terrorism a fight between good and evil, rather than a clash between the West and Islam.

Pledging US co-operation against fighting terrorism, he put the onus on the countries themselves to act.

He further sought to chart a new course on US-Middle East relations, shifting the focus from human rights and democracy promotion to uprooting terrorism.

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Don't wait on us to fight terror: Trump

Trump noted, "the nations of the Middle East cannot wait for American power to crush this enemy for them. The nations of the Middle East will have to decide what kind of future they want for themselves, for their countries and for their children."

Role of US in India-Pakistan relations


Role of US in India-Pakistan relations

The US has historically counted Pakistan an ally. Although it has recently strengthened engagement with India, US has continued to provide defence aid to Pakistan, ignoring India's allegations on cross-border terrorism.

Post nuclear tests in 1998, US has played a neutral role alleviating tense situations, including Kargil War (1999) and the military standoff after Parliament attack of 2001, fearing escalation to nuclear war.


What does this mean?

Trump's statement is significant for officially acknowledging India's position on Pakistan's support for terror. This can also be an indication of a strengthening of the Indo-US relationship.

Urging countries to adopt a toughened stance against home-grown terror, further marks a shift from America's earlier counter-terrorism policy, driven by interventionism in states including Afghanistan and Iraq with US placing the onus on countries breeding terror.

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