Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump attending the mega "Howdy, Modi" event together in Houston is a "win-win" situation not only for both the leaders, but also for both countries, the head of a US-based India-centric corporate advocacy group has said.
US President Donald Trump will join Prime Minister Narendra Modi and they will address more than 50,000 Indian-Americans at the "Howdy, Modi" event tomorrow.
In an unprecedented and bold gesture, President Trump would fly to Houston on Sunday, September 22, just for a few hours to join PM Modi at the largest-ever gathering of Indian-Americans in the United States.
"Overall, the message is very loud and clear that US and India are natural allies and this relationship will get stronger as time goes by," Mukesh Aghi, president of US India Strategic and Partnership Forum told news agency Press Trust of India ahead of Prime Minster Modi's arrival in Houston.
This is the largest gathering of Indian-Americans, which is the most affluent minority group in America. They contribute on a per capita basis, the highest to political campaigns, he said.
"And it is in a state that is always significant for elections. It's a win for President Trump to come to Houston to address this gathering in partnership with Prime Minister Modi," Mr Aghi said.
"From Prime Minister Modi's perspective, there are a couple of areas where he needs US support. One is on the issue of geopolitics in the region. Also, the message which President Trump sends when he speaks along with the Prime Minister is that US and India are geopolitically aligned. So, it is win-win not only for both leaders, but for both countries also," he said.
Mr Aghi said the position of the US government is that Kashmir is a bilateral issue between India and Pakistan. What India has done in Jammu and Kashmir is India's internal matter. "The position of US government is that it is India's internal matter," Mr Aghi said, referring to India's August 5 decision to end Jammu and Kashmir's 'temporary special status'.
Meanwhile in an op-ed in the local Houston Chronicle, Congressman Pete Olson said the "Howdy, Modi" event is about unity, not division - and it will bring the United States, India and Texas closer "than we've ever been before".
Chicago-based community leader Nirav K Patel said "1,300 people from this windy city are attending the mega rally in Houston".
"This is a unique moment in world history as the leaders of the world's oldest democracy and the world's largest democracy will share a stage speaking to 50,000 Indian-Americans," said Ohio State Representative Niraj Atani.
"I am excited to welcome Prime Minister Modi back to the United States for the event and I thank President Trump for attending and speaking at this incredibly important event for the US-Indian relationship," he said.
Mr Atani, the youngest Indian-American elected official in the US, said it speaks of President Trump's commitment to Indian-Americans and the strength of the relationship between the United States and India.
"I am calling on the government of the United States to unequivocally support India's actions on Kashmir. We must support India's move to protect Kashmiri pandits and all Hindus in the region who have lived far too long under the fear of terror from Pakistan," he said.
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