Obama his­toric visit to In­dia

The Financial Daily - - NATIONAL -

US Pres­i­dent Barack Obama re­ceived a hug from Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi as he dis­em­barked from Air Force One. Ac­cord­ing to pro­to­col, the prime min­is­ter does not greet for­eign lead­ers on their ar­rival, meet­ing them in­stead at a for­mal cer­e­mony at the pres­i­den­tial palace. It must be re­mem­bered that the Obama Ad­min­is­tra­tion had treated Modi per­sona non grata un­til a year ago. Now in the dif­fer­ent geopol­i­tics en­vi­ron­ment they have be­come dar­ling to each other for their large self­ish in­ter­est. The Amer­i­can govern­ment wants to see that In­dia which is advancing eco­nom­i­cally and mil­i­tar­ily should be­come a key re­gional power to desta­bi­lize China which is at present win­ning large num­ber of friends through­out the world. His visit to In­dia was highly sym­bolic. It seems that Obama de­lib­er­ately avoided vis­ited Pak­istan due to In­dia war typed at­ti­tude with Pak­istan. There has been an im­prov­ing of re­la­tions be­tween Pak­istan and the US in the last six months, but noth­ing com­pared which re­la­tions be­tween In­dia and the US have be­come very friendly.

Obama an­nounced $4 bil­lion of new ini­tia­tives to boost trade and in­vest­ment ties, jobs in In­dia via Exim Bank and OPIC. Obama and Modi agreed to ex­tend a 10-year de­fense pact that the White House said would al­low for deeper mil­i­tary-to-mil­i­tary en­gage­ment and in­crease mar­itime co­op­er­a­tion. Pres­i­dent Obama and In­dian Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi made a "per­sonal com­mit­ment" to work to­gether to­ward a suc­cess­ful global cli­mate change agree­ment in Paris later this year as part of a sweep­ing en­ergy pack­age un­veiled in New Delhi on ev­ery­thing from boost­ing re­new­able to curb­ing air pol­lu­tion.

In­dian Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi and US Pres­i­dent Barack Obama an­nounced they had reached an agree­ment to break the dead­lock that has been stalling a civil­ian nu­clear power agree­ment. The two coun­tries in 2008 signed a land­mark deal giv­ing In­dia ac­cess to civil­ian nu­clear tech­nol­ogy, but it has been held up by US con­cerns over In­dia's strict laws on li­a­bil­ity in the event of a nu­clear ac­ci­dent. In­dia has at least 12 nu­clear co­op­er­a­tion deals with other coun­tries, in ad­di­tion to the one with the US. Pak­istan fears that nu­clear fuel im­ported by In­dia un­der the nu­clear co­op­er­a­tion agree­ments would un­bur­den the do­mes­tic ura­nium re­sources, thus mak­ing the same avail­able for In­dia's am­bi­tious arms pro­gramme that re­quires ex­ces­sive fis­sile ma­te­rial. In­dia has re­port­edly of­fered to set up an in­sur­ance pool to in­dem­nify com­pa­nies that build re­ac­tors in the coun­try against li­a­bil­ity in case of a nu­clear ac­ci­dent. Obama com­mit­ted dur­ing dis­cus­sions with Modi to sup­port In­dia's bid for a per­ma­nent seat on the UN Se­cu­rity Coun­cil (UNSC). With­out deny­ing the need for re­form of the UNSC, In­dia be­com­ing a per­ma­nent mem­ber will per­ma­nently halt to any resolution of the Kash­mir is­sue, since In­dia will then be in a po­si­tion to veto any at­tempt to raise it in the UNSC. In­dia and the US have voiced their hopes for a per­ma­nent strate­gic part­ner­ship, a de­vel­op­ment that will put the fi­nal seal on In­dia's re­nun­ci­a­tion of its tra­di­tional non-aligned sta­tus.

Fear­ing that some of the In­dia-US agree­ments reached dur­ing Pres­i­dent Barack Obama's visit to Delhi could po­ten­tially desta­bi­lize the re­gion, Pak­istan re­served the right to pro­tect its na­tional se­cu­rity in­ter­ests. More­over, it is feared that co­op­er­a­tion in the field of space and high-end tech­nolo­gies, both of which are dual use and lack ad­e­quate trans­parency, can also af­fect de­ter­rence and strate­gic sta­bil­ity. Pak­istan ex­pected a sim­i­lar com­mit­ment of fight­ing ter­ror from oth­ers. Pak­istan says that con­dem­na­tion of ter­ror­ism in all its forms and man­i­fes­ta­tions should not be based on se­lec­tiv­ity or dou­ble stan­dards, In­dia should bring the plan­ners and per­pe­tra­tors of the Feb 2007 Samjhota Ex­press ter­ror­ist at­tack to jus­tice.

All the present and past US ad­min­is­tra­tions made it clear that Pak­istan is a needed ally in the new cen­tury. Now it is also quite clear that In­dia and Pak­istan have their own roles to play in their re­spec­tive spheres. The US re­la­tion­ship with In­dia was not at Pak­istan's ex­pense, said the White House while stress­ing that its ties with Is­lam­abad were "in­cred­i­bly im­por­tant to our shared se­cu­rity". US see In­dia with an eye to close co­op­er­a­tion across the board for the fu­ture. Pak­istan on the other hand ap­pears to have no strat­egy to cope with the fast chang­ing dy­namic of re­la­tions be­tween the US and In­dia.

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