New Delhi: Ahead of President Barack Obama's visit, India on Friday emphasized the need for upgradation of Indo-US ties which should not be "transactional" in nature and not based on "quid pro quo", saying it was in the strategic interest of America.
"It is in the strategic interest of the US to upgrade a relationship which is not transactional in nature...Not quid pro quo in nature.
"If that happens, it benefits the US in the long term and it helps India in ensuring that it can come up in a manner in which it is not always accepted to yield transaction or quid pro quo," said Union Minister Gen (Rtd) V K Singh during an India Today Global Roundtable.
Singh, however, said there is a information-sharing mechanism which is in place with the US and European countries that can be "much better" and that is where cooperation is called for.
"Our relationship with the US over a period of time has gone up and down. Certain US Presidents placed relationship with India at a much higher altar at different levels than what the others had done," he said.
Asked whether terror would be on top of the agenda in talks between President Obama and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Singh said "we have a strategic partnership with the US. Certain things have been laid down and shared between us.
"When you are looking at becoming partners in fighting terrorism, certain things have to be upgraded. If this issues is discussed, many more things will come up after this visit is over," he said.
He said although he did not know the particular agenda which will be discussed, he maintained that "India's legitimate concerns will be voiced and India will have a much more sympathetic ear to listen to those and subsequently act on them."
Asserting that global terrorism requires global cooperation, the Minister noted that the US, Europe and India could share intelligence in advance and not later, track accounts wherever they are opened by terror groups to prevent attacks like 26/11.
Singh said that the country that joins the war against
terror has to co-operate at multiple levels to be successful.
Singh also noted that the US, which always pressured India to talk to Pakistan "at all cost", has realised that the approach was a "mistake."
Noting that India's relationship with Pentagon has been very weak in terms of military-to-military and said the relation had suffered for various reasons.
He said that there are a lot of forums where military issues are discussed where there is no military representative.
He said that military diplomacy has a place in furthering national interest as part of overall diplomatic relations and it was not seperate.
He said that for a long time, there has been a resistance, especially in the previous government, to place an officer in US central command as a liason officer who can put across the Indian view.
He said that when the suggestion was made, he was told that there is a cabinet decision by the previous government not allowing officer for the Command.
Asked if the present government is working towards putting an officer in the US Central Command, he said "let's see how things move. We are on a positive foot forward. This government looks at things differently from what earlier government had looked at.