Indo-US co­op­er­a­tion and the Pak­istan an­gle


The re­cent visit of the In­dian Prime Min­is­ter Dr Man­mo­han Singh to the United States was un­der spot­light for two spe­cific rea­sons — the meet­ing with the Pak­istani Prime Min­is­ter Nawaz Sharif af­ter the UN Gen­eral As­sem­bly meet and the meet­ing with Pres­i­dent Barack Obama on fur­ther strength­en­ing of re­la­tions with the US.

While it is in­deed sig­nif­i­cant that Indo-US co­op­er­a­tion and en­gage­ment has in­creased sub­stan­tially, in­clud­ing the de­fence realm, over the past decade one point keeps nig­gling at the core of this re­la­tion­ship — why isn’t the US putting pres­sure on Pak­istan in dis­man­tling ter­ror net­works across our bor­der?

The out­come of the two meet­ings have been on ex­pected lines. The Indo-US Joint State­ment has re­ferred to the in­creas­ing and more in­ten­sive bi­lat­eral de­fence co­op­er­a­tion, in­clud­ing trade and mil­i­tary ex­er­cises; en­hanc­ing part­ner­ship in de­fence tech­nol­ogy trans­fer, joint re­search, co-de­vel­op­ment and co-pro­duc­tion. The Sharif meet­ing, which was largely op­posed by the Bharatiya Janata Party and other vo­cal groups in the light of re­cent killings on the bor­ders, was just another of those meet­ings with­out any com­mit­ment on the part of Pak­istan in deal­ing with ter­ror net­works there. In­dia has to be firm, while it en­gages the neigh­bour diplo­mat­i­cally, in­clud­ing mil­i­tary diplo­macy.

We have anal­y­sis of the Prime Min­is­ter’s visit by Lt Gen­eral (Retd) V.K. Kapoor and Lt Gen­eral (Retd) P.C. Ka­toch. Also of sig­nif­i­cance is the me­dia call with em­i­nent schol­ars on the eve of the Prime Min­is­ter’s visit which, among other is­sues, un­der­lines that if US in­vest­ment, par­tic­u­larly in de­fence, has to in­crease, then for­eign di­rect in­vest­ment (FDI) has to be bet­ter than 26 per cent.

In this is­sue, we have two im­por­tant in­ter­views — one with the Pres­i­dent & CEO of Re­conRobotics who de­tails the com­pany’s mi­cro-ro­botic tech­nol­ogy which has been “giv­ing the warfight­ers pre­cisely what they need.” The other in­ter­view is with Se­nior Vice Pres­i­dent of Rock­well Collins, Colin Ma­honey who talks about the com­pany’s cul­ture vis-à-vis over­seas com­pa­nies.

We have show re­port on In­dia’s first Naval and Mar­itime Ex­po­si­tion (NAMEXPO) 2013 held in Kochi re­cently. Or­gan­ised by the Con- fed­er­a­tion of In­dian In­dus­try (CII), the show had mixed re­sponse, but sure enough it has a long way to go to es­tab­lish it­self on the fir­ma­ment of naval ex­po­si­tions. R. Chandrakanth was at NAMEXPO talk­ing to a few com­pa­nies on the prospects of the naval equip­ment mar­ket and the emerg­ing thoughts have been that while the prospects are phe­nom­e­nal, the ac­qui­si­tion process needs to be speeded up and the FDI cap has to be in­creased from 26 per cent.

The is­sue of in­crease in FDI cap has been a re­cur­rent theme and it is time that the pow­ers that be look at it on a pri­or­ity ba­sis. But then we will have to wait for the par­lia­men­tary elec­tions to be over in 2014 and a sta­ble gov­ern­ment in place to take such a bold de­ci­sion.

Mean­while, we look for­ward to your feed­back as it will help us sharpen our cov­er­age of news and anal­y­sis.

Happy read­ing!

Jayant Baran­wal Publisher & Ed­i­tor-in-Chief

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