'Pak, climate issues may prevent breakthrough in Indo-US ties'

A breakthrough in Indo-US strategic ties is unlikely during the visit of US President Barack Obama due to Indian sensitivities relating to Pakistan, climate issues and New Delhi's adherence to the non-aligned policy, an article in official media said on Tuesday.

Beijing: A breakthrough in Indo-US strategic ties is unlikely during the visit of US President Barack Obama due to Indian sensitivities relating to Pakistan, climate issues and New Delhi's adherence to the non-aligned policy, an article in official media said on Tuesday.

"The development of US-Pakistan relations has cast a shadow on India-US ties. India and Pakistan have fought several wars and relations remain contentious.

"Even though the India-US bond has grown stronger, the US will never stop considering Pakistan as its ally in the war on terror. So, it won't be a surprise if India responds negatively when US keeps sending military aid to Pakistan," a Chinese think tank wrote in the state-run Global Times.

"As a country that has long maintained non-alignment policy, India has no intention to shift its diplomatic strategy, not now and not in the future. Consequently, any cooperation could be treated as nothing but seeking mutual benefit," the article said.

"Washington has significantly different agenda to work out with India on climate change. The US is trying to reach a global agreement on binding emissions targets in which developing countries would abide by specific requirements on emissions.

"India, however, finds itself a "victim" of the effects of climate change that are caused largely by Western nations' industrialisation long ago," it said.

Therefore, despite the fact that both sides are sending positive signals and working hard to ensure Obama's upcoming Republic Day visit is fruitful, it will prove to be hard for the US and India to become new best friends through a single visit, it said.

The US and India hold more divergence on issues like global trade talks and the establishment of a new global economic order.

"All these are reasons to be sceptical of Indian-US ties, not because their achievements and advances are insignificant, but because their relationship has no foundational moorings. So, these potential problems will be likely to frustrate relations periodically," it said.

"Obama will be warmly welcomed during his visit, New Delhi and Washington will grow closer, the two countries will strengthen their strategic partnership, but no breakthroughs will occur if all these challenges remain," it said.

But at the same time, developing a good relationship with India will help Washington seek more support in international affairs and reduce the influence of emerging powers such as China in Asia.

"In this regard, the US is only treating India as a pawn in its rebalancing to the Asia-Pacific region," it said.

For India, piggybacking on the closer relationship with the US will benefit the people's livelihood through increasing economic cooperation and improving its infrastructure.

The US could also assist India to emerge as a major global power by backing India for a permanent seat in the UN Security Council, it said. 

 

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