United States President Donald Trump on Wednesday mocked Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi for funding a library in Afghanistan, stating strongly that the project was futile at best.
India's aid to Afghanistan was critiqued by Trump at a press appearance; there, he defended his decision to scuttle overseas US military engagements.
While mentioning his interaction with Modi, Trump said the Indian leader was "constantly telling" him that India has built a library in Afghanistan. "You know what that is? That's like five hours of what we spend. And we're supposed to say, 'Oh, thank you for the library.' I don't know who's using it in Afghanistan," Trump said.
Trump was referring to Indian aid to Afghanistan amounting to $3 bln USD to rebuild the war-ravaged country. The Indian aid and its details were spelt out by the Indian Embassy in Kabul in a written release.
Afghanistan has been embroiled in a severe crisis since the US-led forces toppled the extremist Taliban regime after the 11 September 2001 attacks in the United States. Indian projects in Afghanistan include the reconstruction of an elite high school in Kabul and Indian university scholarships for 1,000 Afghan students each year, as well as building the Afghan Parliament.
Meanwhile, Indian officials have responded to Trump's statement by reiterating that the country firmly believes in the critical role which developmental assistance plays in places like Afghanistan.
"India firmly believes in the critical role that developmental assistance can play in transforming human lives. India does not send its armed forces abroad except under the specific mandate of UN Peacekeeping Operations," sources in the Indian government told Sputnik following Trump's mockery of Indian aid to Afghanistan.
Twitter users have sought to drill in the fact that the purpose of the library built by India was to establish values in the war-ravaged nation, where women were forbidden from reading under the rule of the Taliban.
@realDonaldTrump mocks PM @narendramodi for library in Afghanistan"-— Rishi (@Tiwari_IND) January 3, 2019
India attempts to establish "ideal & life values" anywhere in the world due to its natural nature. This library was also part of the same purpose in which there was nothing scoffing.
SO WHATS THE BIG DEAL WE ALL KNOW TRUMP IS A LUNATIC— SILENT WARRIOR 🇮🇳 (@SilentwarriorUI) January 3, 2019