US-India relations: Pakistan looms large as Clinton lands in India

Clinton will have "extensive conversations" on security and economic cooperation in New Delhi.

Agencies July 18, 2011


US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton hopes to cement gains in ties with emerging global power India as she arrives in New Delhi on Monday but Pakistan is expected to figure extensively in the talks.

Clinton will hold “strategic dialogue” talks with leaders in New Delhi before heading south to Chennai, one of many Indian cities undergoing rapid expansion as the country’s economy opens up to foreign investment.

Her arrival in India late Monday comes after the blasts in Mumbai last week that killed 19 people and injured more than 130 in the latest reminder of the region’s struggle to crack down on terror attacks.

No one has claimed responsibility for the blasts, but relations between India and Pakistan have been undermined in the past by militant strikes in India that the government blames on Pakistan-based groups. US officials say Clinton’s trip will demonstrate the breadth of cooperation — which ranges from expanding military and intelligence work to educational exchanges and nuclear and other hi-tech energy projects.

But the pending US drawdown of forces in Afghanistan and Indian relations with traditional rival Pakistan will both be in focus as Indian security fears grow following Wednesday’s attacks on Mumbai. .

US officials and political analysts say that Clinton will urge India to stay the course and not raise tension, concerned that any overreaction by New Delhi could upset an already fragile US relationship with Islamabad.

“She will encourage India to do all it can to engage Pakistan, to find areas where they might be able to break down some of their barriers and build some kind of confidence in each other,” said Karl Inderfurth, a former senior State Department official under the Clinton administration and now at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies.

It will not be an easy sell — although analysts say India itself is increasingly worried over the stability of its neighbour and has its own reasons for moving cautiously.

Indian police have questioned members of a home-grown militant group, taking some of the immediate heat off Pakistan.

But both New Delhi and Washington suspect that elements of the Pakistani establishment may not be fully onboard with the US-led fight against Islamic militants, doubts underscored in May when US forces killed al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in a compound not far from Islamabad without telling the government in advance.

Robert Hathaway, director of the Asia programme at the Woodrow Wilson International Centre for Scholars, said the latest attacks “will inevitably colour Secretary Clinton’s visit.”

Clinton will also put much of the focus on her three-day trip on economic ties, which have been fast improving but which many see as yet to fulfil their potential.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 19th, 2011.


nehal | 10 years ago | Reply I think the current visit of Hillary clinton is for something else.The current dramatic increase in anti Pakistan Slander campaign In US media blended with the advice of H Clinton to india to lead Asia and explore "new Central Asia Silk routes" is a dangerous sign for the existence of Pakistan. It appears that the war monger US generals are indeed following **Blackwill's Plan for creating "pashtunistan" and disintegrating Balochistan**.Therefore the policymakers of Pakistan should wake up and lay stress on having strategic partneship with Iran and China. They must form a joint intellingence and security working group with Iran in particular as quickly as possible. Creation Of independent Balochistan and Pashtunistan is the motive of United States so that their economy which is collapsing can get a steroid injection from central asian gas reserves. If this god forbids happen Iranian province Sistan will also disintegrate, therefore strategic partnership with Iran is a must. If this evil Balckwill Plan for afganistan becomes successfull the territorial inetgrity of three countries i.e.Pakistan,Iran And China will be a thing of the past for various reasons. So "wake up".
R | 10 years ago | Reply

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