By Srinivas Kuppa
August 01, 2005
I am sending you this email with regards to the recent article on www.sitnews.com. Please read though my opinion which can be different in certain topics. I am not sending this email to criticize but only to pass on my opinion about the article. The article does have great literary value and has lot of information with good view points. I do not have experience in writing articles on penning opinions, so I request before hand to forgive me if there are any syntactic, semantic or lexical errors in my letter.
Ann McFeatters' article titled "Bush's nuclear policy regarding India mystifying" is good but it has explained the relationship between India and the USA only from the prism of nuclear non proliferation and Pakistan. I tend to get an opinion from your article that your analysis is skewed.
Let me tell you what I have understood from the news reports of recent meeting between President Bush and Prime Minister Singh.
1. President Bush is a great PRAGMATIC leader. His administration is full of efficient people who tend to look at the world unequivocally and treat the countries based on their "merits".
2. Both India and the USA are vast democracies, so they are natural SISTERS. Even a speck of skepticism towards their friendship is baseless. Their friendship is seamless. Both share similar security and terrorism related risks. So, there is every reason to give and take help. India is a growing economy and it needs energy to put its economic growth on full-throttle and feed its billion plus people, the vast majority of whom still live in poverty. At the same time the world is facing high environmental pollution and depletion of fossil fuel reserves. So, President Bush's intention to help India achieve the growth and also protect the economic and environmental interests is not only greatly understandable but also greatly appreciable (both in terms of environment - by the way you are from Alaska so you should know quite a bit about the environmental trade-offs - and the world economy). Just imagine how much gratitude the people of India will have on America for such timely help. All the scientific polls have already proven that India has vast majority of people who support American policies and view America as a friend and as an ally. Isn't this what we want - prosperity around the world and gratitude and love towards America? So, providing help towards generating energy is not at all wrong. But yes, the necessary safeguards need to be put in place so that the peaceful nuclear energy resources are not used for other purposes. The joint agreement between USA and India has answered that question which says India is going to do absolutely everything that NPT signatories do and abide by.
3. Please do not compare India with Pakistan when it comes to the relations with USA, as I tend to believe that relations between any two countries should be strictly bilateral and looking them through the multilateral prism will only give a distorted view. I wish to see USA having great relations with Pakistan and help it grow as a modern and moderate Islamic republic. India-US relations and Pakistan-US relations stand on their own and they are here to strengthen in their own right and might.
6. USA is a super-power and the greatest and the most successful story of the 20th century. Every country will look towards USA for help and necessary succor to grow into a prosperous nation and America has always made right decisions and provided constructive help for its sister countries.
7. In the article it was asked (I quote) "He (Dr. Manmohan Singh) said he is proud that out of India's 1 billion people, 150 million are Muslims and "not one of them has joined the ranks of these gangs like al Qaeda or other terrorist activities." How he knows for sure is amazing". (Unquote).
Sir, I do not understand the intention behind this heckling. It is very clear that India has been a peace loving country and overwhelming majority of Indians supported USA in its war against terror (including the Muslim brothers in India). The news reports around the world are evident of the fact that not a single Indian Muslim was involved in acts of terrorism. So, instead of praising the country's camaraderie with USA, you are heckling her.
7a. Let me ask these questions? It was said in the article "surprise gift that stunned many members of Congress". How do you know that "many" were stunned and surprised? Can you quantify "many"?
7b. A distorted view is clearly evident when you have put India and Pakistan on the same level when it comes to nuclear proliferation, even after witnessing one of the worst nuclear proliferations by Pakistan recently. To even think about Pakistan and India in the same breath when it comes to nuclear issues is a sin. Let me buy your point of view for a moment, let's say Pakistan will ask for the same treatment and if it is not rendered then it will threaten non-cooperation towards USA in its war against terror.
Even if I agree with Ms. McFeatters' point of view, I must quote the recent statement from Pakistan's president Gen. Musharraf. Referring to the Iran gas pipeline he said that Pakistan need not worry about its energy resources until 2010 whereas India has a more urgent need. So, even he thinks India's energy issue need to be addressed.
My point of view is clear. The close friendship between USA and India is a natural phenomenon. It is here to stay for years, decades and centuries to come. Both the countries appreciate each other's role in the world. Any attempt to look at this relationship with distrust and skepticism is baseless.
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