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Friday, Nov 15, 2019

Houston to say ‘Howdy, Modi’ today, PM to address over 50,000 Indian-Americans

In between those two meetings scheduled for Sunday and Tuesday, President Trump will meet Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday.

india Updated: Sep 22, 2019 09:41 IST
Yashwant Raj
Yashwant Raj
Hindustan Times, Washington
PM Narendra  Modi arrived in Houston late on Saturday for the “Howdy Modi” event in which he will be joined by Donald Trump and will address over 50,000 Indian-Americans.
PM Narendra Modi arrived in Houston late on Saturday for the “Howdy Modi” event in which he will be joined by Donald Trump and will address over 50,000 Indian-Americans.(Photo: Twitter/@narendramodi)
         

The United States has announced that President Donald Trump will hold a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday, which will be their second meeting in three days, including at the “Howdy, Modi!” event in Houston, on the opening day of the 74th UN General Assembly (UNGA) debates.

In between those two meetings scheduled for Sunday and Tuesday, President Trump will meet Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday. They will be meeting only once, according to details of the president’s UNGA engagements announced by a senior administration official, and not twice as had been reported by Pakistani media citing officials.

The Indian PM arrived in Houston late on Saturday for the “Howdy Modi” event in which he will be joined by Trump and will address over 50,000 Indian-Americans. The event is scheduled to be held on Sunday at a sprawling football stadium.

 Also Watch | A billion eyes on ‘Howdy Modi’, how and when to watch the PM’s Houston gala

Also read | ‘Howdy, Modi!’: How to watch Prime Minister Modi’s mega event in Houston

President Trump is hosting a reception on Tuesday for heads of delegations and governments, which Prime Minister Modi is skipping because he will be hosting at the same time an event to commemorate the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. It’s a marquee event for India, to be attended by UN secretary general Antonio Guterres, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, South Korea President Moon Jae-in and Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

Khan is probably attending Trump’s reception, which his officials might have chalked up as his second meeting with the American president just to counter the hype surrounding Modi’s two meetings with the American leader, specially the one in Houston which, Modi said in a message, rubbing it in before leaving India, “would be a maiden appearance of US President in an Indian community event with me, and marks a new milestone in our outreach to them”.

Khan, who has sought to emulate Modi’s diaspora outreaches in scale and size, is expected to press Trump at their meeting to follow up on his offer to mediate the Kashmir dispute in pursuit of his single-point agenda, or “Mission Kashmir”, as the Pakistani ambassador to the UN, Maleeha Lodhi, described it in a tweet Friday night, welcoming her prime minister.

Trump has moved on since he made the offer, or so he clearly stated at a joint news briefing with Modi in Biarritz, on the sidelines of the G-7 summit. He said Modi told him he has “it under control”.

“I know they speak with Pakistan, and I’m sure that they will be able to do something that will be very good,” Trump had said.

And he has since then demonstrated uncharacteristic discipline to hold to that line.

Also read | ‘Howdy Houston!’ says PM Modi, to meet CEOs of oil companies on day one