Prime Min­is­ter Modi’s UK visit

The two na­tions also con­cluded ne­go­ti­a­tions over a civil nu­clear deal that seeks to in­crease bi­lat­eral co­op­er­a­tion in the field of civil and mil­i­tary tech­nol­ogy and nu­clear re­search projects

SP's MAI - - FRONT PAGE -

With 1.4 mil­lion In­dian-ori­gin Britons ready to wel­come Prime Min­is­ter Modi and the need for Prime Min­is­ter David Cameron to woo them, the stage was al­ready set for a suc­cess­ful UK visit by Modi. Be­fore the visit, Bri­tish me­dia spoke of in­formed po­lit­i­cal cal­cu­la­tions and the rul­ing Con­ser­va­tives ex­tended a hand of friend­ship, both be­cause In­dian-ori­gin vot­ers are viewed as in­creas­ingly im­por­tant and In­dia a bur­geon­ing in­ter­na­tional eco­nomic part­ner. Sig­nif­i­cantly, In­dia was men­tioned 17 times in the re­cent Con­ser­va­tive Party elec­tion man­i­festo and David Cameron is en­thu­si­as­tic about In­dia as a per­ma­nent UN Se­cu­rity Coun­cil (UNSC) mem­ber. In the same breath, Bri­tish me­dia also spoke about Chi­nese Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping, who was feted with­out respite in UK by roy­als, min­is­ters and celebri­ties mo­bilised on a grand scale, “with to­ken demon­stra­tions by Ti­betan pro­test­ers but lit- tle else to un­set­tle the shame­less bon­homie with a man whose wife sang and pirou­et­ted to en­cour­age sol­diers who mas­sa­cred at Tianan­men”. Just prior to Cameron’s visit to In­dia in 2006 as the leader of the op­po­si­tion, Cameron wrote, “In­dia is the world’s largest democ­racy, a rapidly grow­ing econ­omy, a huge po­ten­tial trad­ing part­ner, a di­verse so­ci­ety with a strong cul­ture of plu­ral­ism and a key re­gional player—a force for sta­bil­ity in a trou­bled part of the world.” He had sug­gested that though Bri­tain’s re­la­tion­ship with In­dia ‘goes deep’, it ‘should go deeper’.

In­dia and UK had forged a ‘strate­gic part­ner­ship’ in 2005 but Con­ser­va­tives are keen to give it a fresh mo­men­tum, UK al­ready be­ing the largest Euro­pean in­vestor in In­dia, and In­dia the sec­ond largest in­vestor in UK. Dur­ing his visit to UK, Prime Min­is­ter Modi ad­dressed the Bri­tish Par­lia­ment, had dis­cus­sions with his coun­ter­part, lunched with the Queen, met with the CEOs and vowed 70,000 In­dian-ori­gin

Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi at the joint press brief­ing with the Prime Min­is­ter of UK, David Cameron,

at For­eign and Com­mon­wealth Of­fice in Lon­don

LT GEN­ERAL P.C. KA­TOCH (RETD)

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