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FAREED ZAKARIA GPS

Interview With Afghan President Ashraf Ghani About U.S.-Taliban Agreement; U.S. Aims To Wind Down War In Afghanistan; Coronavirus Death Tolls Near 3,000 Including First Death In United States; Countries Scramble To Contain Coronavirus; Dozens Killed In Delhi's Worst Sectarian Violence In Decade; Hindu Nationalism In Narendra Modi's India. Aired 10-11a ET

Aired March 1, 2020 - 10:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[10:00:16]

FAREED ZAKARIA, CNN ANCHOR: This is GPS, the GLOBAL PUBLIC SQUARE. Welcome to all of you in the United States and around the world. I'm Fareed Zakaria coming to you live from New York.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ZAKARIA: Today on the show, the coronavirus has gone global and so has the fear. Markets everywhere have crashed. How bad can this all get? Is there a solution? I'll ask the experts.

Also a new era for Afghanistan. Will an American pullout change the war-torn nation, and for the better or worse? We'll have a great debate.

And while in New Delhi this week, President Trump touted the religious tolerance of Prime Minister Modi.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: He wants people to have religious freedom, and very strongly.

ZAKARIA: But in the very same city, religious clashes erupted, killing dozens of people this week alone. What is going on in India? We will ask an intrepid reporter on the ground in Delhi.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ZAKARIA: But first, here's my take. I want to talk about Bernie Sanders, who is still, despite South Carolina, the odds on favorite to win the Democratic nomination. Sanders says that his proposals are not radical at all, pointing again and again to countries in northern Europe such as Denmark, Sweden and Norway as examples of the kind of economic system he wants to bring to America. But is he right about these countries?

Take billionaires. Sanders has been very clear on the topic. Billionaires should not exist, he says. But Sweden and Norway both have more billionaires per capita than the United States. Moreover, inheritance taxes in Sweden and Norway are zero, and in Denmark just 15 percent. America's estate tax is 40 percent. By the way all the data I'm going to cite here comes from the nonpartisan tax foundation or the OECD.

Sanders' vision of Scandinavian countries seems to be stuck in the 1960s and '70s. A period when those countries were indeed pioneers in creating a social market economy. In Sweden government spending as a percentage of GDP doubled from the 1960s to 1980s. But as the Swedish commentator Johann Norberg points out, this experiment in Sanders style democratic socialism tanked the Swedish economy.

Between 1970 and 1995 he notes Sweden did not create a single net new job in the private sector. In 1991 a free market prime minister Carl Bildt initiated a series of reforms to kickstart the economy. By the mid-2000s, Sweden had cut the size of its government by a third and emerged from its long economic slump.

Versions of this problem and these market reforms took place all over northern Europe, creating what is now called the Flexicurity Model, combining flexible labor markets with a strong and generous safety net. The first part of the model is key. Ensuring employers have the flexibility to hire and fire workers easily without excessive regulation or litigation.

In addition, these countries have to stay extremely open, erecting no barriers to free trade to gain access to markets abroad and keep their local companies competitive. Now it's true these countries have a very generous safety net and in order to fund it they have high taxes. What is often not pointed out, however, is that in order to raise enough revenue to pay for things like universal health care, these taxes were disproportionately on the poor, middle and upper middle class.

Denmark has one of the highest top income tax rates in the OECD, 55.9 percent. But that rate is applied to anyone making 1.3 times the average national income. In the U.S. this would mean any income over $65,000 would be taxed at a rate of 55.9 percent. And the biggest hit to the poor and middle classes in northern Europe comes because they, like everyone, pay a national sales tax of about 25 percent, much higher than the average U.S. sales tax of 7 percent.

These countries raise more than 20 percent of their revenue this way. Compared to only 8 percent of tax revenue in the U.S.

One final statistic. A 2008 OECD report found that the top 10 percent in the United States pay 45 percent of all income taxes while the top 10 percent in Denmark pay 26 percent.

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In Sweden, 27 percent. This basic point is worth underlining because the American left seems largely unaware of it and it has only become more true over the last decade. The United States has a significantly more progressive tax code than Europe. In other words, bringing the economic system of Denmark, Sweden and Norway to the United States would mean embracing more flexible labor markets, light regulations, and a deeper commitment to free trade.

It would mean a much more generous set of social benefits to be paid for by taxes on the middle class and poor. If Bernie Sanders embraced all of that, it would be radical indeed.

For more, go to CNN.com/fareed and read my "Washington Post" column this week. And let's get started.

America's longest war, the so-called forever war, may actually be ending. May. Yesterday in Doha, representatives of the United States and the Taliban signed the agreement for bringing peace to Afghanistan. The document sets a 14-month window for the U.S. to withdraw its troops. It also calls for the release of up to 5,000 Taliban prisoners. On the other side, the Taliban promises to prevent terror groups from using Afghanistan as a base to threaten the United States and its allies.

There is one absolutely critical party to any Afghan peace who wasn't at the signing. The president of Afghanistan, Ashraf Ghani. He may not have been in Doha, but he joins me now from Kabul.

Welcome, Mr. President.

ASHRAF GHANI, AFGHAN PRESIDENT: It's a pleasure to be with you.

ZAKARIA: The day before the signing the head of the Taliban's media operations said this is a defeat, a defeat for the arrogance of the White House in the face of the white turban. Is it a defeat for America?

GHANI: No, it is not. The narrative is false because there's been no military defeat. It's a political decision to end the war politically. Not only is the United States not defeated the Afghan Security Forces are at their best, and in the last seven months it's been Taliban that have been losing. But our conviction that the war must end politically is what has driven this process forward.

The victors of the war are no one. The victors of the peace are going to be the people of Afghanistan. We need to drop that kind of arrogant language and move forward to discuss our differences and the ways where we can come together as a united country, a united people, and a united nation.

ZAKARIA: The 5,000 prisoners who have been mentioned, as you have pointed out, are not going to be released by the United States. They are under your authority, the authority of the Afghan government. Now I remember when the United States released five Afghan prisoners from Guantanamo, this was in exchange for Beau Bergdahl, there was an outcry particularly among the Republican Party.

Now a Republican president is asking you to release 5,000 Taliban prisoners of war before you even start the talks with the Taliban. Is that going to happen?

GHANI: President Trump is not asking me to release these people. We have not made a commitment to release them. It's a sovereign Afghan decision. We will discuss the question of prisoners as part of a peace deal which has to be comprehensive, which is to discuss. The wording that is used there is that the United States would facilitate. We made it very clear to Ambassador Khalilzad that the political

capital and the consensus in the country that would be necessary for such a major step does not exist today. We need to see that significant issues, a permanent ceasefire discussion of the special relationship of Taliban to the countries that provide them sanctuary, especially Pakistan, their relationship with all terrorist organizations, not just al Qaeda.

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Their relationship with drug cartels, and most fundamentally the basic rights of the people of Afghanistan, the place of our Security Forces and our civilian administration are all discussed. It is very clearly conveyed to them that there can -- they cannot put preconditions.

Just technically it's not possible to release 5,000 prisoners. It's a painstaking process. Each person needs to be checked. And in return for what? We need to understand that the Afghan people have to see continuous commitment, not a sense of false claims of victory because all our forces and our government capabilities are intact.

ZAKARIA: What you're outlining is much more ambitious, that is the reference to the sanctuary that the Taliban have in Pakistan, which is not mentioned in the deal, which has of course been crucial to their continued viability. Will you insist that that be -- that be dismantled?

GHANI: Well, absolutely. I mean, if you're going to have sustainable peace there needs to be clear commitment that they're going to dismantle their structures outside. The people of Afghanistan need to believe that we have gone from war to peace and not that the agreement will be either a Trojan horse or the beginning of a much worse phase of conflict.

ZAKARIA: The deal envisions the Taliban actually assisting in counterterror activities. President Trump says they're going to be killing a lot of bad guys. So far the Taliban, the Haqqani Network in particular, has been regarded as one of the principal terrorist organizations, in other words they were the bad guys.

Do you really think they're going to flip and start killing bad guys?

GHANI: Well, this is the billion-dollar question. In discussions with the United States they've made verbal promises. In agreement with us, they have to make verifiable commitments. Verification is everything. We begin from divergence and lack of trust because we have been fighting each other. In order to reach trust, which is crucial, we have to have verifiable arrangements based on verifiable mechanisms.

The Haqqanis were not able to control themselves. Now they say that they will accept -- will be delighted if they shifted but we need to have verifiable mechanisms and for this we need the right type of international and national and regional monitoring so we can be certain that commitments that are made on paper are actually delivered on the ground.

ZAKARIA: Mr. President, a pleasure to have you on. Thank you, sir.

GHANI: Thank you for the opportunity and let me thank the American people for their long engagement and for their belief in the rights of women and children, and the support that they've extended. And particularly let me thank the Gold Star families whose loved ones paid the ultimate sacrifice. I hope the two democracies, an established democracy and an aspiring democracy, can work together to contain the threats to U.S. homeland and to our freedom.

ZAKARIA: Next on GPS, the great debate. Is this a good deal or not? We have two terrific participants, back in a moment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

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ZAKARIA: The United States has 12,000 to 13,000 troops in Afghanistan to date. The agreement with the Taliban calls for that number to drop to 8,600 in 135 days, and then to zero in 14 months. The question is, is this swift pullout a good idea or a bad one?

Let me bring in my guests, Andrew Bacevich, he's an Army vet and a military historian, who is now the president of the Quincy Institute, a think tank whose mission is to promote diplomacy instead of war. He wrote the cover story for this month's "Harpers" on just that subject.

Peter Bergen has been to Afghanistan at least a dozen times, he is CNN's national security analyst and the author of a new book, terrific new book, "Trump and His Generals: The Cost of Chaos."

Andrew, let me start with you. In a sense, you do believe this is a defeat for the United States. You wrote to that effect. But you're saying good riddance to a bad war.

ANDREW BACEVICH, PRESIDENT, QUINCY INSTITUTE FOR RESPONSIBLE STATECRAFT: Well, it was -- it has been a bad war. And I think it's been evident for quite some time that we need to liquidate the war. Now I'm trained as a historian, so my inclination is to look toward the past. If we say the Afghanistan war is now coming to a conclusion, then it seems to me it's time for us to reflect on what has occurred. And in that regard I think it's pretty clear that we have suffered a major defeat.

The Taliban's purpose, stated purpose, is to rid the country of foreign troops. Our purpose has been to defeat the Taliban. We haven't.

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To create effective Afghan Security Forces. We haven't. Create a legitimate government in Kabul, we haven't. Curb the export of opium, we haven't. So it seems to me that our record of failure is pretty clear. And we ought to confront that.

ZAKARIA: And their objective, which is getting rid of foreign troops, will in 14 months have been achieved. BACEVICH: If they just behave, they are going to achieve their

objective.

ZAKARIA: Peter, you've lived in Afghanistan. You know the region well. If the Taliban does eventually manage to take over the government, which is what they clearly want to do through political and perhaps military means, are you sanguine at that prospect?

PETER BERGEN, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: I don't think they are going to take over the government. I think that's -- you know, even without the U.S. presence, I mean, right now they control 10 percent of the population. You know, without U.S. presence, without allied presence, you know, the Taliban is going to do better. But I think you just have a nasty civil war like you had in the mid '90s out of which the Taliban emerged, but I -- you know, you've got a much stronger Afghan National Army that was the case at that time.

You've got a stronger Afghan police. They have a lot of problems and then they will -- I'm not convinced that they will behave. I mean, past behavior doesn't suggest that they are going to magically turn into a set of democrats and not really abuse the population. So let's see.

I was surprised by the 14-month deadline. That's pretty quick. If we're not there, NATO won't be there. And of course, you know, Trump could lose the election. By the way, this is an agreement. This is not a Senate ratified treaty. This is an agreement with a non-state actor. You know, so a new president, if Trump loses, could come in and say, you know, I'm not going to be bound by this.

ZAKARIA: But, Andy, the Vietnam analogy here does apply, it seems to me, which is it's very hard to unwind. Once you have decided to leave, once you have, you know, made that psychological decision, the country is exhausted. Do you think if the Taliban doesn't keep its commitments, the United States really could, you know, either rest or ratchet up the number of troops?

BACEVICH: No, and here's where the domestic political context really comes into play. The president has said over and over again that he intends to end our endless wars. He is now on the cusp of ending at least one endless war. As he looks toward trying to get reelected, he wants to deliver on that. So my guess is, even if there's a certain amount of backsliding by the Taliban, he's going to be exceedingly reluctant to go on TV and say, oh gosh, I made a mistake in signing this agreement and now I'm sending the 82nd Airborne back in.

So, you know, this is not a peace agreement. It's a peace aspiration. But I think that at least as far as the Trump administration is concerned, once we're in, we're in.

ZAKARIA: Do you think, Peter, when people talk about how this is likely the rising influence of the Taliban in Afghanistan, whether or not they take over the government, they clearly are going to have more influence. Will be bad for women, bad for human rights, bad for, you know, many of the aspirations and values Americans do have? BERGEN: A hundred percent. And, you know, 50 percent of the population

is obviously female. 70 percent are under the age of 30 and 15 percent are Shia. That's a huge number of people who do not want the Taliban back and everything it stands for. And one thing that I think that we've kind of conflated, and particularly the president, but also others, is this notion of endless wars when really we should be talking about persistence presence.

We're still in South Korea more than a half century after 1953 when it was the poorest country of the world. Now one of the richest. We have more -- twice as many troops in South Korea today as we do in Afghanistan. And so I think a persistent presence is perhaps a better way of framing this. Obviously right now, you know, one of the things about President Trump is his consistent inconsistency.

He pulled the plug on the Camp David tour for the Taliban. He could easily pull the plug on this. Let's say, you know, several American servicemen are killed or the Taliban don't behave or there's an attack somewhere in the West that's traceable to Afghanistan or Pakistan.

ZAKARIA: Let me ask you, Andy, about the point Peter makes that, you know, and this is a point people like General Petraeus often make, which is, look. You know, this is not some great war the U.S. is fighting. We have a small number of troops, 10,000 down from 100,000, 150,000 at its peak. These are counterterror operations in support of an Afghan National Security Force.

Why isn't it possible to imagine the United States acting in that way to stabilize a democratic, legitimate government that is trying to create a decent society? It's not that expensive for the U.S. What's the argument against persistent presence?

BACEVICH: Well, I think the argument against it is we've been trying to create this stable government for the last 18 plus years. And it hasn't worked. What have we spent? A trillion dollars? Some people say $2 trillion? The costs are substantial. The costs will continue. And although I wouldn't say that many of the American people actually care about the Afghanistan war, there's -- you know, there's nobody celebrating in the streets because our longest war has ended.

[10:25:08]

There's also virtually no public support for continuing this enterprise.

ZAKARIA: Fascinating conversation. Thank you, both.

Next on GPS, the latest on the coronavirus outbreak. I will talk to the cabinet officer who dealt with the Ebola outbreak in 2014.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ZAKARIA: The World Health Organization said this week that the coronavirus outbreak has the potential to become a global pandemic. But it isn't there yet. Let me show you some stats. As of Sunday morning almost 90,000 people have been infected around the world. Almost 3,000 people have died including the first death in the United States.

If you're wondering how explosive the growth of Coronavirus has been, take a look at this animation that compares infections of four recent outbreaks starting at the time they were reported to the W.H.O. Swine Flu in green, MERS in blue, Ebola in yellow and Coronavirus in pink.

Let's pause here at almost nine weeks. That's where we are right now. As you can see Coronavirus infections are at the highest of the group above Swine Flu at this point. But when I start the graphic again and go out a year, you will see Swine Flu infections start to increase exponentially, they just take off.

And that's going forward a year. So where will the Coronavirus curve be in a year? That's anyone's guess. But I will bring on the experts to do just that. Sylvia Burwell was Secretary of Health and Human Services during the Ebola outbreak and she is now the President of American University. And Sanjay Gupta of course is CNN's Chief Medical Correspondent.

Sanjay let me ask you to just update us first in terms of the two key dimensions that people talk about. One is how fast this is spreading? That's the graphic. And the second is how lethal is Coronavirus?

You mentioned in that press conference with President Trump that it seems to be at about 2 percent rate.

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right.

ZAKARIA: Do we have any new news on either of those?

GUPTA: The transmissibility's seems to be very similar to flu, which is what I think President Trump was referring to initially in terms of drawing that comparison. So one person possibly infects somewhere between two and three people looks like, that's the not factor they call.

In terms of lethality, you know the numbers still stay the same sort of you know right around 2 percent. And I talked Dr. Fauci about this and I said look, is that a China number because that's where all these big studies are coming from or is that going to be the same sort of number here in the United States. He believes it is will be similar in the United States so about a 2 percent fatality rate.

ZAKARIA: Which is 20 times as fatal as the flu?

GUPTA: Well, flu is around 0.1 percent so this would be 20 times as fatal. That's the big concern.

ZAKARIA: Sylvia, when we look at this the U.S. has not had a mass outbreak. Is it likely? And what do we do to plan, prevent, mitigate?

SYLVIA BURWELL, FORMER U.S. HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES SECRETARY: I think the planning is really where we should be focused right now. When we talk about the planning, it's the planning of our federal government, our state and local governments, our public health system and the institutions whether that those are businesses or universities like that which I work in.

And the planning right now, I think, needs to focus on making sure that our health system is ready and that we have the tools and the communication that can support them if this outbreak does grow.

ZAKARIA: Sanjay, this you know what I saw in one media commentary said we're going medieval on Coronavirus by which they meant the person meant we're basically doing what they did in the middle ages. We're quarantining people, we're sealing off places. The Chinese have really done this quite effectively. How come we can't do better? It's been 600 years since the middle ages?

GUPTA: Well, I mean some of that is that the basic tried and true public health measures. They do work. Some of that has been the reason they have persisted for so many 100 of years is because they have been effective.

I don't know that we can do what they did in China in this country. I mean, that was pretty draconian in terms of those large quarantines. Largest quarantines ever in human history taking place in China over the last two months.

But you know with regard to therapeutics and with regard to vaccines, which would be the more modern day sort of equivalent of that, it just takes some time. You have to prove for example with this therapeutics that they actually work that they are not going to do harm.

People sometimes take a sense of false security in these things. So I think that those things are coming. But we're two months into this still, Fareed.

ZAKARIA: Sylvia, when you look at what the Trump Administration has done to the agencies that generally fight this kind of problem and there's a whole list people have gone through that cuts for public health, cuts to the CDC, the firing of scientists, I think we have a graphic somewhere that kind of outlines exactly how many of these cuts have taken place?

My question to you is does it matter now that the administration does seem seized by this problem and that you do have Vice President Mike Pence in charge. Can they recover?

BURWELL: So I think right now what's most important is that we focus on ensuring that we are as prepared as we can be. And Sanjay was speaking to some of those things that need to be done. First of all, we need to make sure we have the diagnostics. Those are the tests that let you know.

With something that can spread as quickly as the Coronavirus, making sure that people have access to the test and that our Public Health Community knows how and when to use those tests? And can get those results quickly.

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BURWELL: So that what we can do is know when a patient has it and then you can trace the people that have been in touch with that patient so that you're watching them as well.

The next piece in terms of that preparedness is as was mentioned making sure if we can develop treatments. Those are longer-term solutions as well as vaccines and then making sure that that system is as prepared as possible.

Do our health care workers have the tools they need? Whether that's the protective gear that they need to wear or the directions in terms of what they should be doing with patients, how and when? This will be fought on the ground in cities across the country in terms of the public health system on the ground.

So making sure you have great guidance at the federal level based on that science, moving that information and ensuring that across the country, the tools are ready information flowing and tools ready for the public health system to use.

ZAKARIA: Don't go away. Stay with us. When I come back, we're going to ask two experts what you should do about this outbreak other than wash your hands. That question when we come back.

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ZAKARIA: Welcome back to "GPS" Sylvia Burwell and Dr. Sanjay Gupta with us talking about Coronavirus. Sanjay let me ask you, how should people think about how they go about their lives? Okay, we get it. We're meant to wash our hands. We're not meant to touch our faces.

You know I've always thought that gloves would be a better protection than face masks. But should people travel? There's so much of the world, so much travel takes place, so many goods and services coming from all over. What do we do?

GUPTA: Well, there are going to be travel advisories in place that people can find somewhat definitive information about travel. But you don't strike me when you were showing that graphic about earlier H1N1 2009 versus now.

Look at global travel. It's nearly doubled during that time. And I remember and I think Sylvia remember during Ebola, the common refrain was an infection anywhere is an infection everywhere. The idea that things do travel around the world is true. We're talking about a tiny strand of RNA doesn't respect boundaries or borders.

In terms of daily life though, I think one of the terms people hear a lot is social distancing. And what that means basically is trying to avoid people, especially people who are ill as much as possible. We are not really at that phase now, but Fareed I mean that's one of those trident assured public health measures again the idea that maybe people should work from home more often, kids may stay out of school.

Look around your house. If you had to stay home for a period of time, do you have enough supplies you know food, water, your medications. You should have a few months worth of medications. Those pragmatic things I think are things that people can do any time.

They are not designed to panic or alarm people. But that's some of the preparedness at the individual level. Yes, wash the hands. Yes, avoid people. We touch our face a lot more than we realize.

ZAKARIA: Would you shake hands with people --?

GUPTA: I don't shake hands even when I came up to the set with you we did the Ebola elbow bump. Because look those are - these are tiny little fragments of RNA that can spread that way. So I just do everything I can to avoid that sort of spread. It helps. This isn't just a euphemism. That actually helps curb an outbreak.

ZAKARIA: Sylvia when you look at it from the point of view kind of a more macro level, what people are wondering is will the Olympics be held? Japan has already cancelled basically its football season, which I think 75 games of various kinds.

You're a President of a big University, are you going to at some point have to consider canceling classes or convocations? What are you looking at to figure out whether those decisions need to be made and need to be made affirmatively?

BURWELL: The decision about the Olympics, we also faced when Zika occurred I don't know if folks remember that as well. Because the Olympics were in South America and that was the place where we had the highest concentrations of those case.

With regard to the things like Olympics and events that are further out, I think what we need to do is continue to start and think about the planning, but this is one where more and more information that we learn over the next weeks and months will be very helpful to those decision making. Decisions that decision makers will make together. The U.S. supported Brazil during a time of Zika as we did that.

With regard to a University, we're in it right now because we have students who are studying abroad at American University. We have about 500 students studying abroad. We have already brought our students back from China and Korea. We are in the middle of following CDC guidance when Italy went up in terms of its warnings.

And I think that's an important thing that we at a University follow the guidance in terms of when the levels. That's what I think institutions should do and individuals should do. The second part we need to plan for is enrollment and thinking about are foreign students for the fall. How will this impact that?

And the third place that we're planning for as a University is thinking through what would happen here if we had an outbreak in the area of Washington, D.C. where American University is located and how we would work through that?

You can see those are different in time. One is right now and we're bringing those students back following the protocols that the CDC has put forward. The other is thinking about the sort of the medium term and the other is thinking about something that could be longer term or shorter term depending on the trajectory of the virus.

ZAKARIA: Sanjay, very quickly, if this gets bad, let's be honest, we can't possibly have the number of supplies that we need for something like this.

GUPTA: I was doing some quick math in preparation for the show. You start looking at the number or percentage of people who could become critically ill and need more intensive care may be even need breathing machines things like that.

Say a million people contract the virus here. That means about 14 percent, 15 percent would become more seriously or critically ill 100 or 150,000 people. Ventilators in this country, just a simple thing like breathing machines, we have around 100,000. But there's a certain percentage you know two thirds that are in use at any given time.

[10:45:00]

GUPTA: So how do we account for the shortfall of ventilators at that point? What's our surge capacity? Are we going to like bring equipment out of stockpiles? Are we going to ask equipments from other places? All these are decisions that need to be made now.

You know China brought us time by implementing these measures that they did over there a month or month and a half. That's really important time because hours matter here, days matter. How are we going to prepare in that regard?

Dr. Fauci has been thinking about this. Public buildings could suddenly become places where people are cared for. Not just hospitals. Again not to incite panic by any means, but that's part of being prepared at the medical level and the societal level as well.

ZAKARIA: Sort of run fast, don't run scared.

GUPTA: That's good, yes.

ZAKARIA: Thank you, both. That was very important. Next on "GPS," as President Trump toured India this week, he praised it as a diverse tolerant democracy and at that very moment mobs were attacking and killing Muslims in that nation, in that city. What is going on? We'll explore, when we come back.

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[10:50:00]

ZAKARIA: On the same day that President Trump was touting the religious tolerance of India's Prime Minister, not far away from where the President spoke Muslims were being beaten by mobs. More than 40 people have been killed in the violence in the last week alone.

Prime Minister Modi is a Hindu leader in country who is population is about 80 percent of Hindu and less than 15 percent Muslim. Critics charged that the Prime Minister has infected the nation with a virulent form of Hindu Nationalism. Let me bring in Rana Ayyub who is standing by in Delhi at the site of this week's violence. Ayyub is a journalist and the Author of "Gujarat Files" a book about the 2002 Muslim Massacre. Rana, you have covered many of these kinds of incidents. How bad is this one?

RANA AYYUB, INDIAN JOURNALIST: Well Fareed, I was 9-year-old when the 93 Anti-Muslim carnage took place. And I remember covering "The Gujarat Carnage" when Mr. Modi presided in Gujarat as a Chief Minister when a thousand Muslims were killed.

But nobody was really prepared for what we are witnessing in Delhi for the last two weeks because Modi is a Prime Minister. And India is the world's largest democracy. And the visuals that we are seeing emerging from New Delhi seem to be coming from straight from a dystopian films that we're been making in India.

You know they're families, Muslim families abandoning their homes with their belongings in trucks. There are mothers weeping for their children, there are women who are molested with mobs entering their localities chanting "Jai Sriram" which is glory to Lord Ram.

And there are Mosques with stank torched that are burnt copies of the Qur'an lying around. All this was happening at the same time as Trump was addressing the Indian and international media and telling the world that Modi has got everything in control. I have never witnessed anything more traumatizing than what I have been witnessing right now as a journalist in India.

ZAKARIA: What has the role of the police been in all of this? Because Ashutosh Roshan (ph) a very serious scholar says that if you look at the way the police was either standing by or actually encouraging the mobs, this is what he says by definition was state sponsored pogrom.

AYYUB: Absolutely. I mean, there have been many arguments and whether this should be called pogrom or is it just a riot, it a pogrom for a reason that the mobs have been given a free lease to go and attack Muslim localities. It was all preplanned.

The cops are not as just standing as by standards but also complicit in one video which emerged. There are four Muslims lying on the streets with blood on their clothes and the cops are asking beating them and asking them to chant the National Anthem.

There are places where cops are you know running along with the mobs and attacking Muslims themselves. So not just the Delhi police the Home Minister of India Amit Shah himself who is responsible for maintaining law and order in the country has been giving the most provocative speeches in the country.

To think that the Home Minister of the country has not yet visited the site in fact, he gave a speech two days ago while the rioting was happening that we are going to build a grand Ram temple in Ayodhya speaks volumes of you know where we stand today.

And Prime Minister Narendra Modi who took three days to actually put out the statement on Twitter that peace should be maintained. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has not visited North Delhi where the carnage took place. Not that I'm surprised.

Here is a man who was the Chief Minister in Gujarat when the genocide happened till today he has not expressed regret toward the incident and today when this is happening, the Prime Minister is just silent. He is not even gone to the light of occurred areas.

ZAKARIA: Let me ask you Rana quickly what about the average Hindu? I mean, Hinduism is remarkably peaceful religion in many ways India is a very diverse country. Hindus generally have always had a kind of live and let live attitude. Has the rhetoric of Hindu Nationalism changed that for the average Hindu?

AYYUB: Unfortunately, the rhetoric of Hindu Nationalism is intrigue is meeting with the common Hindu. The kind of hate crimes that are happening every day not just in the national capital, but in parts of India the kind of videos that are being circulated, just when I was coming here, there was a video from in Calcutta where there's a mob was just chanting the most provocative slogans against Muslims.

[10:55:00]

AYYUB: Just this month, Uber India has suspended three drivers for making Anti-Muslim statements. So somewhere the hate that has been peddled by the government of India, by Mr. Modi and by Mr. Amit Shah and his Ministers, who have openly asked for Muslims to go to Pakistan.

They are kind of creating this victimhood syndrome in the 80 percent majority that Muslims are taking away what rightfully belongs to them and they have the first right to resources.

ZAKARIA: Rana, I'm so sorry to cut you off because we are literally out of time. Thank you for all the work you're doing and thank you for your courage. And thanks to all of you for being part of my program this week. I'll see you next week.

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