US to work with India in war against terror

September 16th, 2011 - 4:34 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, Sep 16 (IANS) The India-US relationship should become one of the world’s strategic pivots, says a study by two US think tanks, even as Washington vowed to work closely with New Delhi to battle terror.

The transition in bilateral ties will require psychological adjustments from both sides, says a joint study group report released Thursday by the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) and Aspen Institute India (AII).

India must shed outdated mindsets that still dominate much of its foreign policy elite and accept the obligations of its surging power, said the report, “The US and India: A Shared Strategic Future”.

“And the US must accept a more collective form of global leadership, in which others shape the terms and conditions of multilateral cooperation.

“If New Delhi and Washington can make this transition, their partnership has a limitless future,” it says.

The high-level study group, including luminaries from both countries, was co-chaired by Robert Blackwill, a former US ambassador to India, and Naresh Chandra, chairman of India’s national security advisory board.

Other policy recommendations include holding classified exchanges on multiple Pakistan contingencies, including the collapse of the Pakistani state and the spectre of Pakistan military losing control of its nuclear arsenal.

“The US should heavily condition all military aid to Pakistan on sustained concrete anti0terrorist measures by the Pakistan military against groups targeting India and the US, including in Afghanistan.”

Washington, it said, should continue to provide technical assistance to Pakistan to protect its nuclear arsenal and to prevent the transfer of this technology to third parties.

And India should continue its bilateral negotiations with Pakistan on all outstanding issues, including Kashmir, the report said.

Separately, the US admitted that bears the brunt of terrorist attacks by Pakistan-linked groups like Indian Mujahideen (IM).

“The battle against extremism and extremist elements that carry out deadly attacks on innocent civilians continues,” State Department spokesman Mark Toner told reporters Thursday.

He was asked how the US designation of IM will help in the US-led global war on terrorism.

“We’re going to continue to work closely with likeminded nations, such as India,” he said noting, “Frankly, India (that) bears the brunt of these terrorist attacks in order to defeat them.”

Asked about the basis on which India-based IM has been declared a global terrorist group, Toner said: “… A lot of the material is obviously based on intelligence.”

The US believes “that the Indian Mujahideen do have links with Pakistan-based terrorist groups, such as Lashkar-e Taiba,” he said. But they are also “a very lethal terrorist group in their own right in India.”

Asked if the US was helping India combat the threat from IM, he said: “We have a robust strategic dialogue with India. They’re a close ally and partner. One of the elements of that is close counter-terrorism cooperation.”

(Arun Kumar can be contacted at arun.kumar@ians.in)

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