Modi’s success depends on making US walk the talk on terrorism
by Ashok B Sharma on 06 Oct 2014 0 Comment

What is the main takeaway for Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his recent visit to the United States? He was successful in attracting huge crowds at Madison Square and Global Citizen Festival where he marketed his “Make in India” concept well. He also impressed upon the CEOs of Boeing, KKR, BlackRock, IBM, GE, Goldman Sachs, Google, Hospira, Pincus, Citigroup, MasterCard, Cargil, Pepsico, Caterpillar, AES, Merck and Carlyle group and Indian Americans to invest in India. It is to be seen how much investment he will be successful in attracting into India.


Prime Minister Modi and President Obama signed a joint statement and a Vision Statement for US-India Strategic Partnership and both jointly wrote an editorial in Washington Post. ‘Chalein Saath Saath – Forward Together We Go’ is a clarion call by the two leaders, expressing concerns over the growing threats of terrorism. But will the principle of ‘Chalein Saath Saath hold good when Al Qaida and other terrorist outfits attack India from their bases in Pakistan? Prime Minister Modi has said that terrorism in India is not home grown but is exported into the country.


Terrorism is an issue India has repeatedly emphasised that needs concerted global attention and active participation by a super power like the US to fight its menace to the last. How far is US sincere in dealing with it? Will US be an active partner with India in the fight against terrorism?


At the 69th session of UN General Assembly Prime Minister Modi urged early adoption of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism and to make the global body an effective instrument to fight the destabilising acts of non-state actors. He also raised the need for reforms both in the United Nations and UN Security Council by taking into account the contemporary realties. For reforms within the UN, Modi in his meeting with the UN Secretary General Ban ki Moon urged the latter to take the initiative of suggesting that countries contributing troops to UN Peace Keeping Forces should be consulted in decision making process before the matter is put up before the UNSC.


Modi’s proposal for International Yoga Day at UN received instant support from Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka. Yoga he said is a panacea for societal ills.


Reforms in the UNSC are urgently needed to effectively deal with the contemporary situation of conflicts and threats of terrorism. The UN should be an effective body in tackling global problems. Modi castigated interested powers to forms groups like G-7, G-8 and others to deal with the problems. The UN should be G-All.


Modi’s pin-pointed reference to the discrimination between “good” and “bad” terrorists might not have been liked by the US which draws distinction between “good” Taliban and “bad” Taliban. The US and NATO powers’ support to insurgent groups trying to topple the Assad regime in Syria brings into question the sincerity of world powers in fighting the menace of terrorism. Even the support to Taliban resistance during Soviet Union’s occupation of Afghanistan was an instance of supporting terrorism to achieve political ends.


But Modi was bold in raising the question: “Are we really making concerted international efforts to fight these forces, or are we still hobbled by our politics, our divisions, our discrimination between countries, distinction between good and bad terrorists?” In an indirect reference to Pakistan and some countries in West Asia, he said, “Even today, states allow terrorist sanctuaries on their territory or use terrorism as instrument of their policy.”  


He said India was prepared to engage in serious bilateral dialogue with Pakistan in a peaceful atmosphere “without the shadow of terrorism”. Pakistan should engage in bilateral dialogue with India on basis of Shimla Agreement and Lahore Declaration that does not stipulate any involvement of a third party. Recently the dialogue process between the two countries was derailed as Pakistan chose to talk to Kashmiri separatists before the secretary level talks scheduled in Islamabad. Modi cautioned Pakistan that raising Kashmir issue in UN will be of no avail.


While Modi was speaking at UNGA and discussing with Obama in White House some supporters of Kashmiri separatist organisations and Sikh separatist movement were demonstrating outside, but they were outnumbered by Modi supporters.


However, Obama has underlined the need for continued comprehensive global efforts to combat and defeat terrorism, including joint and concerted efforts to dismantle safe havens of terrorists and criminal network, disrupt all financial and tactical support for networks like Al Qaeda, Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammad, D-Company and the Haqqanis. Obama has also urged Pakistan to bring the perpetrators of the November 2008 terrorist attack in Mumbai to justice. Will US really walk the talk?


India raised the issues of maritime security, cyber security, security in outer space apart from its domestic security. The 2005 Framework for the US-India Defence Relationship was renewed for the next ten years and both countries agreed to reinvigorate the political-military dialogue and expand its role to serve as a wider dialogue on export licensing, defence and strategic cooperation. It has been decided to set up a Task Force to expeditiously evaluate and decide on unique projects and technologies aimed at enhancing India’s defence industry and military capabilities.


The US agreed to cooperate in setting up a National Defence University in India. Both Washington and New Delhi agreed to upgrade the existing bilateral Malabar naval exercise. Expressing concern over the rise of China in the Asia-Pacific, both India and US agreed to work closely with countries in the region through consultations, dialogues and joint exercises. India-Japan-US trilateral will be raised to the level of foreign ministers.


However, playing to Modi’s internal security concerns, Obama pledged to help India counter the threat of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) with information and technology. India is eager to purchase US-made mine-resistant ambush-protected vehicles.


Modi’s plan to give visa-on-arrival to US citizens can cause problems. If persons like David Hadley would decide to visit India what would the government do?


After the success of India’s Mars Mission, NASA-ISRO Mars Joint Working Group has been set up under US-India Civil Space Joint Working Group. There are other agreements like setting up of India-US Investment Initiative, Infrastructure Collaboration Platform, development of Ajmer, Vishakhapatnam, and Allahabad as smart cities by US industry as lead partner, support to 500 Cities National Urban Development Mission and Clean India Campaign, modernizing Indian railways, skill development and reinvigorating the higher education dialogue. But all said US can do best for India by walking the talk in the fight against terrorism. 

User Comments Post a Comment

Back to Top