Observing that the US was late in engaging with Narendra Modi, an eminent American scholar has asked the White House to signal that it is ready to do business with the new Indian Prime Minister and reinvigorate bilateral ties.
"(The US) President (Barack) Obama should signal his willingness to meet with Modi in Washington on the heels of the September 2014 United Nations General Assembly. This would help set the foundation for improved ties and mend fences over the revoked visa issue," Lisa Curtis of Heritage Foundation said.
A known India expert, Curtis said there is an opportunity to move past recent irritants in the US–Indian relationship and reinvigorate the ties between the two countries.
"For this to happen, the Obama Administration must signal that it is ready to do business with newly elected Prime Minister Modi. If the US demonstrates its willingness to establish close ties with the new Indian government, it is likely that the BJP will reciprocate, and the two sides can refocus on achieving the vision of a durable and strategic partnership, which is in the national interest of both countries," Curtis said.
According to Curtis, the US should seek to work with the new BJP government to enhance India's role in demonstrating America's commitment to the Asia–Pacific.
"Given the BJP's apparent interest in adopting a more assertive hedging strategy vis-a-vis China, the US will likely find more opportunities to engage with Indian officials on the US strategy in the Asia–Pacific," she said.
"A BJP government will not be constrained or influenced by leftist-leaning politicians who have a knee-jerk aversion to strategic cooperation with the US, as was the Congress Party–led government. BJP leaders will continue to resist any policy construed as 'containment' of China, however," Curtis said.
"Modi's strong equation with Japanese Prime Minister Abe also could open opportunities for greater trilateral cooperation among the US, India and Japan. The sixth trilateral US–India–Japan meeting, scheduled to take place in New Delhi in early June, presents an early opportunity for the new Indian government to demonstrate it prioritizes the dialogue," she added.
Calling to reinvigorate the Defense Trade and Technology Initiative (DTTI) between the Office of the Secretary of Defense and the Indian National Security Advisor, Curtis urged the Obama Administration to make a fresh push to clear hurdles for US companies to invest in India's civil nuclear sector.
"The US should encourage India's economic and