01-May-2009

The Nuclear Deal

And all that it was to do for the Indo-US partnership are in reality far from the touted ideal. Who could have known!
The United States-India nuclear deal was promoted as a transformative initiative — one that would put the bilateral relationship on a much-higher pedestal. In his valedictory speech, President George W. Bush declared: “We opened a new historic and strategic partnership with India.” By contrast, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has not made a single statement on the deal — not even to Parliament — ever since the vaunted deal came to fruition, othe r than to admit recently that he got his party to back the deal by threatening to resign.
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Seven months after the deal’s realisation, there is no sign of its transformative power. Rather, doubts have arisen over the supposed “global strategic partnership” with America. The policy frame in which Washington is viewing India is not the larger Asian geopolitical landscape, but the southern Asian context. But even on regional matters of vital interest to India, the U.S. has sought to ignore New Delhi or pursue antithetical policy approaches. To the chagrin of Indian neocons — who ingenuously marketed the nuclear deal as a U.S. move to build India as a world power and counterweight to China — Washington has declared that its “most important bilateral relationship in the world” is with Beijing.
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