N-deal failure can hurt India-US ties: Talbott

February 25th, 2008 - 12:04 am ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Manmohan Singh

New Delhi, Feb 24 (IANS) Terming the India-US nuclear deal as “very, very good” for New Delhi, former US deputy secretary of state Strobe Talbott has said its failure would adversely affect the two nations’ ties. On the India-US nuclear deal, Talbott said he was surprised by the opposition to it.

“This is a very, very good deal for India, and I say that as someone who has reservations about the deal,” Talbott told TV news channel NDTV 24×7 in an interview to be telecast Monday.

“This is turning into a classic case of putting a bullet in the gift horse’s forehead because if India does not implement this deal, I am not sure the next US administration will simply pick up from where the Bush Administration left off,” said Talbott, president of the Brookings Institution.

Saying he was surprised at the opposition to it - primarily from the Left allies of the Manmohan Singh government - Talbott said if the deal did not go through, it will adversely affect India-US ties. That would be “unfortunate”, he said, according to an NDTV statement Sunday.

Talbott said the US was extremely worried about the post-election scenario in Pakistan.

“Across the board, the American establishment is extremely worried, and there are also those in the establishment who think it was wrong for the Bush Administration to bank only on (President Pervez) Musharraf.”

Asked if Musharraf’s days are numbered, Talbott said: “Oh yes, it’s just not clear how he will exit and what form he will leave office.”

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