India, US finalise major defence accord

Published: December 10, 2016
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Indian Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and United States Secretary of Defence Ashton Carter, on Thursday, finalised India’s designation as a Major Defence Partner of the United States.

This was announced in the India-US joint statement on Carter’s visit to New Delhi, according to The Indian Express. The designation as a Major Defence Partner, the joint statement noted, is a status unique to India and institutionalises the progress made to facilitate defence trade and technology-sharing with India to a level at par with that of the United States’ closest allies and partners, and ensures enduring cooperation into the future.

India, America destined to be strategic partners: US

During India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s trip to Washington in June, the United States said it recognised India as a Major Defence Partner. The joint statement issued then had acknowledged the US-India defence relationship as a possible ‘anchor of stability’, with the United States saying it will “continue to work towards facilitating technology sharing with India to a level commensurate with that of its closest allies and partners”.

Parrikar had given a non-paper to Carter during his visit to Pentagon in August, following which the two sides had negotiated the exact contours of this designation. There were differences between the two sides about the level of technology transfer and cooperation permissible under the Major Defence Partner status.

India was seeking benefits granted to the closest allies of the US, such as Australia and the UK which the Pentagon was hesitant to concede. On Thursday, the two sides did not specify details of the benefits that will accrue to India under the designation.

India’s Major Defence Partner status has, however, been made a part of the India Amendment in the National Defence Authorisation Act, 2017 (NDAA), approved by the US Congress to allocate funds annually to the US military. This Bill is expected to be passed shortly which will put a formal, official stamp on India’s status.

Meanwhile, the United States will ‘remain committed’  to Afghanistan, US Defence Secretary Ash Carter said on Friday, amid questions about what President-elect Donald Trump’s foreign policy will mean for the country as it faces a renewed Taliban insurgency.

Pakistan apprehensive of US-India defence deal

Carter arrived in the Afghan capital earlier on an unannounced visit and met US troops and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani. “America is, and will remain, committed to a sovereign and secure Afghanistan,” Carter told a news conference with Ghani.

Speaking with reporters at Bagram air base north of Kabul later on Friday, General John Nicholson, the commander of US and international forces in Afghanistan, said it was important for the United States to remain committed in Afghanistan. [WITH ADDITIONAL INPUT FROM REUTERS]

Published in The Express Tribune, December 10th, 2016.

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Reader Comments (11)

  • sunny
    Dec 10, 2016 - 9:08AM

    India has a functional democracy. US should forgot using indian territory against china. US also signed a similar pact in 1950 to use Pakistan territory against Russia for spy and undercover operations.India should learn from Pakistan. Look at Pakistan infrastructure and economy now. Pakistan lost 120$ billion in war on terror. Recommend

  • Raj - USA
    Dec 10, 2016 - 9:20AM

    Many thanks to China and Pakistan, particularly China’s attempts to encircle India through CPEC and Pakistan’s attempts to rule Afghanistan through terrorist groups, which made this historic Indo-US cooperation possible. Recommend

  • mohsin
    Dec 10, 2016 - 10:00AM

    Weaponry India will not be less than a flame for neighboring countries. Recommend

  • Counterpoint
    Dec 10, 2016 - 10:22AM

    USA>Pakistan<China.

    Who pays more? USA or China? Who will buy her? USa pays more, but expects more. China gives nothing for free& charges Pakistan high interest rates.Recommend

  • BrainBro
    Dec 10, 2016 - 10:49AM

    It is better for Pakistan’s GHQ to make friends with India and become part of the new global wave of economic upheaval.
    Otherwise Pakistan endangers becoming a North Korea of the region. It is not about India. It is about the economy, economy and economy.Recommend

  • abreez
    Dec 10, 2016 - 10:50AM

    Good thing for Pakistan, now Pakistan will start its journey for Pakistan of 1236 and that thing will save $1,000,000,000,000 annually for poor people of sub-continent.Recommend

  • syed baqar ahsan
    Dec 10, 2016 - 3:15PM

    @sunny:
    don’t speak truth Indians are otherwise shrewd won’t act like usRecommend

  • FAZ
    Dec 10, 2016 - 3:28PM

    Lets make America great again..Recommend

  • curious2
    Dec 10, 2016 - 5:58PM

    It will be interesting to see how that pans out. If India had selected USA as it’s supplier for hi tech fighters I could see the relationship improve to the point where USA would provide latest drone technology and maybe even Missile Defense … but India chose France so that technology might be withheld – time will tell.Recommend

  • Jokio
    Dec 11, 2016 - 6:35AM

    Two war criminals join sides.Recommend

  • Milind
    Dec 11, 2016 - 1:57PM

    @syed baqar ahsan – Not sure about shrewd.. But we’re definitely pragmatic and don’t see the world through any prisms (religion/Muslim ummah as Pakistan does). To be fair we did see the world through the romantic non-alignment/Gandhian/moral high ground prism and failed miserably. However the later dispensations, wise enough, corrected the mistakes of the past and we’re here nowRecommend

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