Trade with India, aid for Pakistan

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Barack Obama on Sunday announced they had reached an agreement to break the deadlock that has been stalling a bilateral civilian nuclear power agreement.

US had agreed to withdraw its ‘highly intrusive’ demand for tracking of nuclear material as Obama used his executive powers to waive off this condition imposed by US negotiators. The US will go only by IAEA inspection of India’s use of nuclear material and equipment, as per the agreement reached. Both leaders also held extensive discussions on enhancing cooperation in crucial areas of defence, trade and commerce and climate change.

The US President is not to visit Pakistan during this tour of the region and just ahead of his three-day visit to India; he uttered some harsh words for Pakistan and called on the government to dismantle terrorist safe havens and to punish those behind the Mumbai attacks. It is also unlikely that US President would push India to indulge in long lasting talks with Pakistan to normalize the relations of two rival countries. He would be focusing on bilateral ties of US and India.

In the past, Obama had been praising India’s role in Afghanistan’s stability that obviously raised many eyebrows in Pakistan. He said that he was grateful for the generous assistance that India has provided over many years to help the Afghan people improve their lives.

It is obvious that the US considers India a possible counterweight to China in the region. Washington is also well aware with the strategic importance of Pakistan in the region. Therefore, US aid programme has not been discontinued for Pakistan despite hostile opposition from Congress. The US is still dependent on Pakistan’s political and military help to deal with the situation in Afghanistan post-withdrawal.

It is the need of the time that the US should review its policy of trade with India and aid for Pakistan that has been its ally in the war against terror.


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