Lalit K Jha
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Sunday proposed a strong,constructive relationship between India,China and the US to solve pressing issues of the 21st century. Indias leadership will help to shape positively the future not only of South and Central Asia,but also of the Asia Pacific,she said,urging New Delhi not just to look East,but to engage East.
Outlining a new US thinking,63-year-old Clinton told PTI here that her country was committed to a strong,constructive relationship among India,the US and China. We know this will not always be easy. There are important matters on which we all disagree,one with the other. But we do have significant areas of common interest. Ultimately,if we want to address,manage or solve some of the most pressing issues of the 21st century,India,China and the US will have to coordinate our efforts, she said.
The Secretary of State answered questions on Indo-US ties,Indias role in world affairs and the recent US spat with Pakistan over its approach in dealing with terrorism. Appearing to soft-pedal the strain in US-Pak ties,Clinton said Washington was deeply committed to long-standing relationship with Pakistan despite the complexities and challenges that sometimes arise.
Appreciating Indias engagement with other countries,Clinton said it can serve as a model for the entire region. Another example of Indias leadership as a regional partner is the nearly USD 2 billion it has provided to help build a stable,secure and prosperous Afghanistan,she said. Pointing out that US and India were making progress on a broad range of issues,including regional security,development and renewable energy,Clinton said more American companies are encouraged to invest in India,and her country welcomes Indias investments,which are helping to create jobs.
She also talked about the partnership with India through educational and cultural exchange programmes,saying,at next weeks US-India Higher Education Summit here,the two sides will discuss their shared strategic vision to improve areas of cooperation apart from identifying new areas to grow the exchange programmes. We want to see more students and faculty from India have the opportunity to study in the United States,and for the same number of American students and faculty to study in India, she said.
On Pakistan,Clinton said the US is deeply committed to its long-standing relationship with Pakistan despite the complexities and challenges that sometimes arise. Though we have had our differences,both of our countries recognise the critical need for continued cooperation across a wide range of issues,and especially in our shared fight against terrorism. Together we have worked to destroy,dismantle and defeat al-Qaeda, she said.