Modi takes dig at Pakistan, gets diaspora to thank Abu Dhabi crown prince

Dubai, Aug 18 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday took a veiled swipe at Pakistan over terrorism, got a cheering crowd of thousands of Indians to give a standing ovation to the Abu Dhabi crown prince for the gift of land for a temple, and took a jibe at the previous UPA regime for not having visited the Gulf nation in 34 years.

Addressing the diaspora at the Dubai Cricket Ground in his last engagement of the day, Modi even spoke a few lines in Malayalam to send the crowd ecastatic.

The UAE is home to 2.6 million Indians.

“Those who indulge in terror must be punished and this is the message that has resonated from here today,” Modi said, referring to the joint statement issued after his talks with Crown Prince Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan here.

Modi said the joint statement was clear in its message “without caring for anyone”.

In a veiled swipe at Pakistan, Modi said that India and the UAE have come out against terrorism, “without any camouflage, in clear terms, without caring for anyone, given a clear message against terrorism”.

In a jibe at Pakistan, Modi said that “those who need to understand will do so” – the message of the joint statement against terrorism.

“Samajhnewale samajh jayengey. Akalmand ko ishara kafi hai,” he said.

Modi also got the cheering crowd estimated 50,000 Indians to give a standing ovation to the crown prince of Abu Dhabi for his gesture in giving land in Abu Dhabi for a temple for Indian nationals.

“On the one hand there is terrorism in the name of religion, and innocents are killed; and at such a time of concern, the crown prince has given land in Abu Dhabi for a temple for the Indians,” he said.

“The people who know Abu Dhabi, they realise that the decision is of such importance. All Indians should thank him. I appeal to you all people to thank him with a round of applause for the gesture, and give a standing ovation to the crown prince,” he said, and the entire gathering stood up cheering to applaud the crown prince’s gesture.

Modi also took a swipe at the past UPA government saying though 700 flights connect India and the UAE it took a prime minister 34 years to come to the country.

He said though people have a right to express anger at being ignored for so many years, the crown prince of AbU Dhabi and the Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum “did not show anger, but showered me with love, so much love that I cannot ever forget the love, the welcome, the respect accorded to me”.

Modi also announced a welfare fund for the Indian diaspora in the UAE.

Modi said an e-migrant portal has been created to help Indian migrant workers and an online platform “MADAD” to assist the diaspora.

Modi said he has instructed the embassy in UAE to solve some technical problems dogging the e-migrant portal in a month’s time.

He also said he has directed the embassy that wherever Indians are collected, to hold counsellor camps once a month, and sit and meet the workers and take steps to resolve the problems,” he said, to loud cheering.

He said a welfare fund for diaspora is to be set up for their benefit and to help them legally so that they can deal with problems.

With regard to school problems, Modi said he has spoken about it and “told them to increase the number of schools. Let us see, we will take steps to benefit you”, he said.

He kept the gathering mesmerised during the over one and a quarter hour address, which was interspersed with chants of “Modi, Modi”.

Referring to terrorism, Modi said: “We are victims of terrorism for 40 years. Innocent people have lost their lives.”

Referring to the different perceptions on terrorism, Modi said: “Good Taliban, Bad Taliban…Good Terror, Bad Terror…this wont work. A decision has to be taken are you with terrorism or with humanity.”

He referred to India’s relations with the South Asian neighbours and said: “We work, not with an arrogance of being big but we work shoulder to shoulder with everyone towards development.”

“Our effort has been to take India to new heights of progress and maintain a strong friendship with our neighbouring countries.”

Later, he tweeted about the atmosphere at the event. “Electrifying is an understatement to describe the atmosphere at the Dubai Cricket Ground. A big thank you!”

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