Focus on Defence During Obama Visit: Ex-envoy

Published: 24th January 2015 06:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 24th January 2015 07:26 AM   |  A+A-


BENGALURU:The upcoming visit of US President Barack Obama must not be about what India can take away from it but more about how Indo-US relations can be bettered, said former Indian Ambassador to the United States Ranendra ‘Ronen’ Sen.

Sen was in the city for a talk on the Indo-US strategic relationship organised by  Synergia Foundation. Former Deputy National Security Adviser Latha Reddy mediated the talk. In a frank discussion, Sen said  Obama’s visit should be more about implementing past agreements and must focus on aspects of defence and nuclear technology.

However, Sen warned against the general nature of Indo-US ties and said it was time the country ‘grew up’ and stopped looking only at what America could do for India. “Let’s also look at what we can do for each other instead of takeaways from the visit,” he said.

Sen made the same point in the context of intelligence sharing. When asked as to why the US was not helping by cracking down on Pakistan to apprehend terrorists like Hafeez Saeed, Sen said the US has supplied India with more inputs than all other countries put together.

“Yes the situation with Dawood, Hafeez is frustrating but then they are aware of it too. When it comes to assistance from the US, we set the bar high and expect them to follow our agenda but when they ask for reciprocal assistance, we show great indignation. Why set standards only for the US? Other countries like Russia, China and Iran are in talks with the Taliban too,” he said.

India must instead focus on developing its own capabilities in the intelligence sector and other areas, he said. Taking the example of India’s entry into the United Nations Security Council, he said that it was not fair to protest against America not acting in favour of admitting India when other countries were silent too. “Ultimately we will have to fend for ourselves,” he said.


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