Trump says PM Modi is a ‘beautiful man’, but the US is ‘getting nothing’ on Harley Davidson import duty

On Tuesday, US President Donald Trump has once more raised the issue of high import duty on Harley Davidson motorcycles by India, stating that the US was “getting nothing” with India’s recent announcement that it had reduced customs duty on imported motorcycles from high-end brands to 50 percent. Trump added that the US wanted fair and give-and-take trade deals.

“When they (Harley Davidson) send a motorcycle to India, as an example, they have to pay 100 per cent tax, 100 per cent,” the US President said in his comments to a gathering of governors of all the states at the White House. Citing to his recent conversation with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Trump said the “fantastic man” informed him that India has reduced tariffs on imported motorcycles, but the US was “getting nothing”.” Now, the prime minister, who I think is a fantastic man, called me the other day and said we are lowering it to 50 per cent. I said okay, but so far we’re getting nothing. So we get nothing. He gets 50 (per cent), and they think we’re doing like they’re doing us a favour. That’s not a favour,” Trump said.

“I wasn’t sure, he said it so beautifully. He’s a beautiful man. And he said, ‘I just want to inform you that we have reduced it to 75, but we have further reduced it to 50’. And I said, huh. What do I say? Am I supposed to be thrilled? And that’s not good for you people, especially as governors. It’s just not right. And we have many deals like that,” the US President added. The 71-year-old president said that the US gets “zero” when it buys an Indian motorcycle. “So when they have a motorbike, a big number, by the way — they have a company that does a lot of business. They have a motorcycle or a motorbike that comes into our country — the number is zero. We get zero. They get 100 per cent, brought down to 75; brought down, now, to 50. Okay,” he said.

He added that “It’s a great company. When I spoke with your chairman or the president of Harley, they weren’t even asking for it because they’ve been ripped off with a trade so long that they were surprised that I brought it up. I’m the one that’s pushing it more than they are, but it’s unfair. And India sells us a lot of motorbikes”. It is for the second time in a month when Trump raised the subject of high import duty on motorcycles by India. Previously, he had labeled it “unfair” and threatened to increase the tariff on import of Indian motorcycles to the US.

Trump once again named India, China to defend his policy on Paris Climate deal

Once more, the US President Donald Trump named India and China to defend his policy on climate change and repeated that these countries and some others aided the most from the Paris agreement whereas America didn’t get any benefit. In his address to the Conservation Political Action Committee, Trump said, “We knocked out the Paris Climate Accord. It would have been a disaster. Would have been disaster for our country.”

Trump was citing to his last year decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement on climate change. Donald Trump had announced in June last year to take out the US from the Paris Agreement on climate changes and renegotiate the deal that was agreed upon by more than 190 countries during the past Obama administration. Disagreeing that countries like India and China are advancing the most from the Paris agreement, Trump said that the pact on climate change was partial to the US, as it severely hit its jobs and businesses. “You know, basically, it said, “You have a lot of oil and gas that we found” — you know, technology has been amazing. And we found things that we never knew. But we have massive — just about the top in the world — we have massive energy reserves. We have coal. We have so much,” Trump said while defending his decision.

“And basically, they were saying, “Don’t use it. You can’t use it. So what it does is it makes us uncompetitive with other countries. It’s not going to happen, I told them. It’s not going to happen. And China — their agreement didn’t kick in until 2030. Right? Our agreement kicks in immediately. Russia — they’re allowed to go back into the 1990s, which was not a clean environmental time,” Trump added. While mentioning on India and other countries, Trump said, “Other countries, big countries — India and others — we had to pay, because they considered them a growing country.” “They were a growing country. I said, What are we? Are we allowed to grow, too? Ok? No, Are we allowed to grow? They called India a developing nation. They call China a developing nation. But the United States? We’re developed. We can pay,” Trump said.

President Trump asked if people understood about the Paris Agreement and said that his nation is in favor of his decision. “Because it sounds so good. It’s like some of the environmental regulations that I cut. They have the most beautiful titles. And sometimes, I’d say, “Look, I’m just going to close my eyes and sign this, because you know what? I’m going to get killed on this one. And I get so much thanks. The country knows what I’m doing,” the US President added. Trump said that “We couldn’t build. We couldn’t farm. If you had a puddle on your land, they called it a lake for the purposes of environmental. I mean, it’s crazy. It’s crazy”.

Modi-Trudeau meet: Issued joint statement, focus on terrorism, trade ties

The Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Canadian counterpart Justin Trudeau held extensive talks on important issues of counter-terrorism and extremism as well as ways to enhance trade ties on Friday, following which both sides inked six pacts, including on energy cooperation.

While addressing a joint media event after almost two-hour long meeting, PM Modi with the Canadian Prime Minister said that they discussed the whole range of the bilateral partnership. Stressing that it is vital that both countries work together to fight terrorism, Modi said that there must be no place for those who misuse religion for political goals. Prime Minister Modi has also cleared it that those who challenge India’s sovereignty and unity will not be endured. PM Modi’s comments come in the middle of criticism of the Trudeau government’s soft approach in the direction of the Khalistan issue and the controversy over a convicted Khalistani terrorist accompanying the Canadian PM on his week-long trip to India.

Examining that Canadian PM Trudeau has visited various parts of India in last few days, PM Modi has said that the Canadian counterpart should have experienced the diversity of the nation. Canadian PM Justin Trudeau, on his side, called India as a natural partner for commercial cooperation. Prior to this, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj called on the Canadian Prime Minister and talked over a various matter of concerns of mutual interest. The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted that the minister had a cordial meeting the Canadian PM and discussed ways to brace and develop the partnership between the two countries.

Pakistan govt is taking action against us to please India, US, says Hafiz Saeed

The 26/11 Mumbai attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed has said that he will challenge the government’s “illegal” action in the court of law following Pakistan launched a restriction on seminaries and health facilities run by him. Beneath the huge pressure to act against banned groups, Pakistan took control of a seminary and four dispensaries run by Saeed-linked Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) and Falah-i-Insaniat Foundation (FIF).

“After detaining me for 10 months without any legal ground, the government has now issued a notification regarding taking over our schools, dispensaries, ambulances and other assets. It will hamper our relief operations in Punjab, Balochistan, Sindh, Azad Kashmir and northern areas,” Saeed said following government’s action against him. As per the interior ministry notification, a copy of which available with PTI, “the federal government is pleased to direct that requisite actions with regard to freezing and taking over of assets (movable, immovable and human resource) associated with JuD and FIF shall be taken in pursuance of Ordinance No II of 2018.” The issuance date of notification is February 10.

The Punjab rural law minister Rana Sanaullah has also said that on the interior ministry’s guidelines, Hafiz Saeed and his charities have been banned to work in Pakistan and the government has already initiated taking over all the facilities, offices, schools, dispensaries and seminars that belong to the JuD and FIF. Hafiz Saeed, in a message to his workers, requested for calm and asked them not to give any violent reaction to the government against their charities. “This is the most difficult time but the workers must remain peaceful. The rulers are acting like more loyal than a king. India never bothered to implement UN resolutions on Kashmir but our rulers have got passed the president ordinance to take action against patriotic organisations like JuD and FIF,” Saeed said.

Hafiz Saeed added that Pakistani government is “taking extreme action against us” to please India and America. He said that “We will fight our case in court against this illegal action”, who is the leader of charity JuD, also believed to be a front for Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terror group. Pakistan has come under extreme pressure to restrict in terror groups following US President Donald Trump accused the country of sheltering terrorists and suspended almost $2 billion in security help to it.

Pakistan declares 26/11 mastermind Hafiz Saeed a terrorist under global pressure

The mastermind behind the terrifying 26/11 Mumbai blasts and Jamaat-ud-Dawah, Hafiz Saeed, has been declared a terrorist by Pakistan after ignoring for so long. This episode took place following Pakistan police on Monday removed barricades placed by members of Saeed’s Jamaat-ud-Dawah outside the group’s headquarters.

The blockade had been set up a decade ago for the security concerns. “We have removed blockades from 26 places, including JuD headquarters in accordance with the Supreme Court’s orders,” said DIG (Lahore) Dr. Haider Ashraf. The President Mamnoon Hussain signed an ordinance on Tuesday that takes all individuals and organizations banned by the United Nations Security Council, like Jamaat-ud-Dawah, Lashkar-e-Taiba, and Harkat-ul Mujahideen, under the domain of the amended Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA), 1997. Talking about the UN list, they have banned a total of 27 outfits and the amendment in Section 11-B and 11-EE of the ATA spells trouble for the likes of Saeed.

The move came just days before the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) meeting in Paris where rumors were widespread of Pakistan being added to the greylist under pressure from the United States of America and India. Arriving on the list would surge the cost of doing international business and getting involved in cross-border transactions for Pakistan. Ahead of this amendment, UN identified groups and people banned by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of Pakistan from collecting donations in the country.

PM Modi, Trump discuss Maldives political crisis over phone call

The Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump have communicated concern about the political crisis in the Maldives over a phone call, as they also talked about the condition in Afghanistan and increasing security in Indo-Pacific region, the White House said. “Both leaders expressed concern about the political crisis in the Maldives and the importance of respect for democratic institutions and rule of law,” the White House said in the readout of the phone conversation between Trump and Modi.

On last Thursday, Maldives jumped into a political chaos when the top court ordered the release of nine imprisoned opposition politicians, continuing that their trials were “politically motivated and flawed”. The Yameen government has rejected to execute the ruling, inciting a series of protests in Maldives capital, Male. The Supreme Court Chief of Maldives Justice Abdulla Saeed and another judge, Ali Hameed, were detained hours following Yameen announced a state of emergency. The White House added that the two leaders also promised to keep on working together to boost security and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region. The White House said, “Affirming President Trump’s South Asia strategy, they reiterated their commitment to supporting Afghanistan’s security and stability”.

The PM Modi and President Trump also talked about Myanmar and ways to address the dilemma of the Rohingya refugees. Previously, there are some 680,000 Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh laying excessive pressure on the economy of Bangladesh. In recent past, Bangladesh and Myanmar agreed on a roadmap of return of these refugees to their homes in Myanmar. The US, on the other hand, considers that it is not the perfect time for the return of Rohingya refugees. Trump and Modi also discussed the steps to make sure denuclearization of North Korea, according to the White House. “Finally, the leaders agreed to strengthen security and economic cooperation as they look forward to the ‘2+2’ ministerial dialogue between their defence and diplomatic officials in April,” the White House said.

Pakistan can live without US help, says Pakistan foreign minister

The foreign minister Khwaja Muhammad Asif said that Pakistan is making sure to maintain a balance in its relationship with the US and the government has made it clear that Islamabad can live without US’ help but will not compromise on national integrity. Speaking at the Senate Standing Committee on Finance, Asif said that relations with the US were not normal after rants by US President Donald Trump, the News International reported on Thursday.

He also stressed that Pakistan could no more host millions of Afghan refugees. The minister highlighted that Pakistan has been again and again seeking help for repatriation of Afghan refugees and to work on border management with Afghanistan. The minister Asif told the meeting that constant jibes at Pakistan were “all accusations to put the responsibility of the US failures in Afghanistan on Pakistan”. “We have to stand up to those who accuse us of harboring terrorists,” the minister said.

The meeting was kept beneath the chairmanship of Senator Nuzhat Sadiq and was attended among others by Senators Farhatullah Babar, Ayesha Raza Farooq, Karim Ahmed Khawaja, Mushahid Hussain Sayed, Daud Khan Achakzai and Haji Moin Khan Afridi among others.