New Delhi: After the remarkable victory of Donald Trump as the new President-elect of the United States of America, there has been much speculation world over, and India, regarding his take on various matters of foreign policy. While it may still be early to form concrete opinions about how much and how literally Trump’s over-the-top comments should be taken, we in India seem to have more cause for cheer than grief, especially when it comes to Indo-Pak situation.
Not a friend
In 2011 this is what Trump had to say about Pakistan.
Get it straight: Pakistan is not our friend. When our tremendous Navy SEALS took out Osama bin Laden, they did… (cont) http://t.co/s6u5o8Co
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 6, 2011
In 2012 the Donald — as he is more colloquially known — fired another salvo labelling Pakistan a betrayer.
“Get it straight: Pakistan is not our friend. We’ve given them billions and billions of dollars, and what (cont) http://t.co/O5S4cQV3
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 17, 2012
During the course of a radio talk-show in 2015, Trump called Pakistan “probably the most dangerous” country in the world today, adding that the only country that can “check” Pakistan is India. Not stopping there, he went a step further in his characteristic style and compared Pakistan with North Korea.
“You have to get India involved … They have their own nukes and have a very powerful army. They seem to be the real check … I think we have to deal very closely with India to deal with it (Pakistan).”
Earlier this year in an interview with CNN Trump again reiterated his concern about Pakistan’s nuclear weapons:
“Pakistan is a very, very vital problem and really vital country for us because they have nuclear weapons and they have to get a hold of the situation.“
In another pre-election interview to Fox News, the President-elect mentioned that he would like to keep 10,000 US troops in Afghanistan “because it’s adjacent and right next to Pakistan which has nuclear weapons.”
After the Lahore bomb blast which killed 74 people, Trump tweeted the following for which he faced a lot of criticism.
Another radical Islamic attack, this time in Pakistan, targeting Christian women & children. At least 67 dead,400 injured. I alone can solve
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 27, 2016
Meanwhile, with the changing equations after his stunning victory, Sulabh Kumar, who is Trump’s point-man for reaching out to Indian-Americans and founder of the Republican Hindu Coalition, during an interview with Reuters said that Trump and Modi would be best friends.
They will be best friends – not only the two nations will be best friends, but these two guys will be best friends. Donald Trump knows about Modi through me. He is very keen to learn about Modi.
Kumar was one of Trump campaign’s biggest fundraisers contributing $1.5 million to the presidential candidate. As a point of comparison, Hillary Clinton raised over $520 million for her campaign compared to only $270 million for Trump.
Earlier in a speech during an event in Edison, New Jersey, organized by the Republican Hindu Coalition, Trump said:
“Under a Trump administration, we are going to become even better friends, in fact, I’ll take the word ’even’ out because we are going to be best friends. There won’t be any relationship more important to us.”
Given the general consistency of his tone with respect to Pakistan and the issue of Islamic terrorism, India may find an ally in Trump.