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Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Donald Trump attend the "Howdy, Modi!" rally at NRG Stadium in Houston Sunday. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

President Donald Trump declared in front of a 50,000-strong crowd at a Houston event honoring Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, "India and the United States understand that to keep our communities safe, we must protect our borders."

Why it matters: Trump's comments at the "Howdy Modi" rally that border security is "vital" to the U.S. and India come weeks after India sent thousands of troops to the Indian-administered Kashmir and erased the special status of the majority-Muslim state — escalating tensions with Pakistan in the disputed region.

  • As Bloomberg notes, Trump's remarks risk being perceived as supporting India over Pakistan's in a dispute that he's offered to help mediate, a proposal India rejected.

The big picture: Kashmir has been a source of conflict between India and Pakistan since partition in 1947 and is now effectively split between the countries.

  • Per Axios' Dave Lawler, "Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan has repeatedly compared India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to the Nazis and warned without evidence of an 'impending genocide' in Kashmir."
  • The Houston Chronicle notes 2 Kashmiri citizens are suing Modi in federal court in Texas for alleged human rights abuses in Kashmir.
In photos: "Howdy Modi" rally
Protesters outside the Texas rally. Photo: Sergio Flores/Getty Images
Modi's supporters inside the stadium. Photo: Thomas B. Shea/AFP/Getty Images
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz with Modi. Photo: Thomas B. Shea/AFP/Getty Images
Dancers perform at the stadium. Photo: Thomas B. Shea/AFP/Getty Images
Audience members listen to Modi at the event. Photo: Thomas B. Shea/AFP/Getty Images

Go deeper: Pakistan struggles to rally the world against India's Kashmir crackdown

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Health: CDC director defends agency's response to pandemic — CDC warns highly transmissible coronavirus variant could become dominant in U.S. in March.
  2. Politics: Biden readies massive shifts in policy for his first days in office.
  3. Vaccine: Fauci: 100 million doses in 100 days is "absolutely" doable.
  4. Economy: Unemployment filings explode again.
  5. Tech: Kids' screen time sees a big increase.
  6. World: WHO team arrives in China to investigate pandemic origins.
Dave Lawler, author of World
3 hours ago - World

Alexey Navalny detained after landing back in Moscow

Navalny and his wife shortly before he was detained. Photo: Kirill Kudryavtsev/AFP via Getty

Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny was detained upon his return to Moscow on Sunday, which came five months after he was poisoned with the nerve agent Novichok. He returned despite being warned that he would be arrested.

The latest: Navalny was stopped at a customs checkpoint and led away alone by officers. He appeared to hug his wife goodbye, and his spokesman reports that his lawyer was not allowed to accompany him.

Mike Allen, author of AM
5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Biden's "overwhelming force" doctrine

President-elect Biden arrives to introduce his science team in Wilmington yesterday. Photo: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

President-elect Biden has ordered up a shock-and-awe campaign for his first days in office to signal, as dramatically as possible, the radical shift coming to America and global affairs, his advisers tell us. 

The plan, Part 1 ... Biden, as detailed in a "First Ten Days" memo from incoming chief of staff Ron Klain, plans to unleash executive orders, federal powers and speeches to shift to a stark, national plan for "100 million shots" in three months.