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In India, Obama faces questions on U.S. relations with Pakistan

The president and the first lady visited India and Indonesia, part of a 10-day trip to Asia, the longest foreign trip of Obama's presidency.

Students took seats around a stage at the center of a large courtyard formed by the interior walls of the school. Shade was scarce, but large fans blew toward the center of the courtyard, where Obama took the stage, his white shirt open at the neck and sleeves rolled up.

"King and Gandhi made it possible for all of us to be here today - me as a president, you as a citizen of a country that's made remarkable progress," Obama told them, referring to Martin Luther King Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi. "Now you have the opportunity and the responsibility to also make this planet a better place."

The half-dozen questions Obama took after his opening remarks were a mix of political and philosophical.

The first student asked him for his definition of jihad, the Muslim concept of struggle. Obama used his answer to call for religious tolerance.

"One of the challenges we face is how do we isolate those who have these distorted notions of religious war," he said. "It's a major challenge here in India, but it's a challenge obviously around the world."

Another young man asked how government could "triumph over materialistic values." And a young woman noted how Obama frequently cites Gandhi, India's independence hero, in his speeches. She asked the president how he employs Gandhi's principles in his everyday life.

Under the searing sun, Obama paused before answering.

He said he is "constantly studying" the life and work of King, Abraham Lincoln and Gandhi.

"I'm often frustrated by how far I fall short of their example," Obama said. "But I do think that at my best, what I'm trying to do is to apply principles that fundamentally come down to something shared in all the world's religions, which is to see yourself in other people."


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