Sarah Palin pitches for closer Indo-US ties

Last Updated: Saturday, March 19, 2011 - 23:39

New Delhi: Sarah Palin, the Republican
Vice-Presidential nominee in 2008 US polls, on Saturday pitched for
closer India-US ties and leveraging the bilateral relationship
to bring prosperity to Pakistan.

Lauding the strides India has made since opening up its
economy, Palin said there was a need to do the same in

"We cannot go back to those hyphenated days of India-
Pakistan. The de-hyphenation that occured when India was
able to start making independent decisions to allow the
prosperity that is growing here. Now, we need to and can
work together in doing with Pakistan," she said in an
interaction at the India Today Conclave.

Palin, a former Alaska Governor, sought to disapprove
Pakistan pushing terrorists into India and said that the US
would not put up with innocent people being attacked.

"I hear that condemnation when we perceive that Pakistan
is not tough enough on terrorists.. they are being allowed to
cross border into India. It is one of the things we need to
work on," she said.

"We will not put up with innocent people being attacked,
innocent people being harmed by terrorists," she said.

Palin criticised US President Barack Obama for his
policies in Libya and said that America has to be "more
decisive and less dithering" in its approach.

She was not in favour of sending American troops to Libya
and wanted stricter enforcement of the no-fly-zone over the
troubled north African nation.

Palin praised Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as a
"stronger and more experienced" Presidential candidate.

She remained non-committal on her candidature as a
possible Republican nominee for the next US Presidential

"I dont know yet," was her reply when asked whether she
saw herself as a possible Presidential candidate in the next

At the same time, she said it was not impossible for a
woman to be the President of the US.

"There are a lot of gals out there who would make good
presidential candidates," she said.

Through her 30-minute addressed Palin made a strong
pitch for free market economy and lesser government
interference in businesses.

Palin dismissed the talk of America`s decline as a world

"I completely reject that thought. It is wrong thinking
by our friends and wishful thinking by our enemies. America is
not on a decline. America`s demise has been predicted before.
It didn`t happen then, it won`t happen now," she said.

On China, Palin said India and the United States want to
ensure China`s peaceful rise, even as she expressed concern at
Chinese military build-up.

"We want to both ensure that China`s rise is peaceful,
while hedging against bets that it could be otherwise," she

"I personally have huge military concerns about China.
They are stockpiling ballistic missiles, submarines, new age
ultra modern fighter aircraft. Is that all for a defensive
posture? How could that be when you don`t see a tangible
outside threat to that country?" Palin asked.

On the trillions of dollar of US debt held by China, she
said it was dangerous to be so reliant on one country.

"China has a choice - they can either become part of the
path that many other countries are on and seek democracy,
freedom or go the other way," she said.


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First Published: Saturday, March 19, 2011 - 23:39

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