New Delhi: US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, who reached India late in the evening today said that the US is not in any way exerting pressure on India to hold talks with Pakistan.
Hillary’s statement is apparently meant to clear any suspicions in India that Washington is pressuring New Delhi to hold dialogue with Pakistan and also give Islamabad some time in tackling anti-India elements operating from within its borders.
Hillary is on a five-day visit to India
during which the two countries will launch a new chapter in
their strategic partnership and deepen their engagement.
The former US first lady, Clinton, on her first visit to
India as US`s chief diplomat will be spending the night at the
Tower Wing of the Taj Hotel in an act of solidarity with the
victims of the Mumbai terror attack on November 26 last.
Clinton flew in shortly after 10 PM from Prague where her
special aircraft had a refuelling halt after the flight from
Washington. It is her first foreign trip since she broke an
A thick blanket of security was thrown around the Colaba
area of south Mumbai where the Taj hotel is located and
hundreds of security personnel were deployed to provide cover
for the visiting US dignitary.
Clinton will be meeting top Indian business leaders,
visiting a centre of the Self-Employed Women`s Association
(SEWA) and paying tributes to martyrs` of the 26/11 attacks
during her stay in the city.
She is expected to leave for New Delhi on Sunday.
In the Capital, Clinton will meet Prime Minister Manmohan
Singh and hold talks with External Affairs Minister S M
Krishna. She will also meet UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and
Leader of the Opposition L K Advani.
She is also due to
deliver a lecture at the Delhi university.
Clinton`s aircraft landed at Mumbai at 10:20 pm, a senior
She was received at the airport by Maharashtra government
Chief of Protocol S Mulick and deputy chief of Protocol
Ahead of her visit, Hillary said President Barack
Obama`s administration was "going to do everything we can to
broaden and deepen our engagement" with the UPA government.
Clinton had also said, "we are starting a strategic
dialogue between myself and the new Minister of External
Affairs(S M Krishna)."
Bilateral cooperation in civil nuclear field, defence
and trade and investment are expected to figure prominently in
the talks Clinton will have with Indian leaders. The two sides
would also focus on terrorism, particularly that emanating
from Pakistan, climate change, global economic crisis.
In the civil nuclear field, the two sides would discuss
ways to implement the landmark agreement. The two sides are in
negotiations for setting up of two nuclear plants in India.
Krishna and Clinton are also expected to discuss the End
User Verification agreement in defence field, under which the
US would be able to supply sensitive military equipment.
The two sides are also expected to discuss ways to step
up military cooperation, including joint exercises as well as
the global economic crisis and cooperative ways to deal with
Clinton`s visit to Mumbai comes nine years after her
husband, former president Bill, and their daughter, Chelsea,
visited the metropolis.
From New Delhi, Clinton heads to Thailand to lead the US
delegation at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations