Washington: Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Arun Jaitley has defended his party`s stand on the India-US nuclear deal saying that now that "it was a done deal" US firms should have no apprehensions about investing in India.
"BJP`s vision of India-US ties should not be seen through the prism of the nuclear deal," he said on Wednesday in response to a question about US firms` apprehension over the Nuclear Liability Bill given BJP`s opposition that nearly derailed the landmark deal.
"Now it`s a done deal," said Jaitley after a lecture at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank, noting his "party`s reservations over some parts of the Liability Bill has not distracted from what we believe should be a relationship based on economic, trade and scientific exchanges".
"It is a fairly safe regime to invest in," he said observing that the Bill was eventually passed by the Indian Parliament through a much wider consensus.
Jaitley also said there was "no substitute" to engagement with Pakistan, but the level of engagement would depend on what roadmap Pakistan chooses to adopt for its future - a radical dangerous course or a less radical democratic path.
Successive governments in India have engaged with the dispensations in Pakistan, he said citing then BJP prime minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee`s visit to Lahore to start a bus service and his initiative for the unsuccessful Agra summit.
Jaitley said over the last decade ties between India and the US have evolved into a "strategic partnership" and have bipartisan support in both countries.
There was a convergence of assessment of the situation in Afghanistan, and now also in Pakistan, he said. But there will continue to be areas of differences between the two nations.
"We will not always have similar views on all aspects, but India-US relationship itself has become a global reality," Jaitley said.