Washington: The Indo-US civil nuclear deal
inked during Bush Administration has not been handled as well it should have been by the US, a key Republican lawmaker has said.
"Nuclear agreement that we have reached, there was a
whole lot of criticism of that; lost in that was the
importance of what I just said about the relationship with
India. This was a positive way to work with them, to show some progress," said Congressman Adam Smith, ranking member of House Armed Services Committee.
"I don`t think we handled that as well as we should. I
think we have to do a better job of maintaining and building
up a stronger relationship with India.
"They`re going to be an incredibly powerful regional and
global player for a long time to come," Smith said in response
to a question after his address on "US Commitment to Asia"
hosted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies
(CSIS), a Washington-based think tank.
Smith said, India was enormously important, and he would
like to have a more positive relation with the country.
"I think we have a positive relationship; I don`t think
we do as much with India as we should. Diplomatically,
military-to-military, in a variety of different ways, I think
there are enormous opportunities for us to build a stronger
relationship with India," the Congressman said.
India, he noted, has not been as active a regional power
"They haven`t been regional -- global, at this point; I
mean, China is everywhere -- Latin America, Africa. You know,
India, while they have grown significantly economically,
they`ve kept it more internal," he said.
"I still think they`re going to be incredibly important
player. You know, largest democracy in the world... we have a
lot in common, and I think we need to work hard to build in
that relationship," he said adding that there have been
hiccups through the years.
"Certainly, the situation in Pakistan and Afghanistan has
given pause on occasion. But we have so much in common, so
many opportunities to work together. I think we need to really
focus more on India," Smith said.