America’s relationship with India should not be a “one-for-one transactional arrangement” but more than that, a former US envoy to New Delhi has said ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit here. “In the world economic situation, a strong India is good for us,” Frank Wisner told a Washington audience. “It should not be a one-for-one transactional arrangement because a strong India, as (former US president) George W Bush made it clear, a strong India is good for the United States. India’s strength is good for us in maintaining the balance of power in Asia,” the former US Ambassador to India said. At an event organised by the Meridian International Center here, Wisner said when President Donald Trump meets Prime Minister Modi at the White House later this month, he should say that this is “a key relationship” with the US.
“It is of strategic significance. We’re going to continue to build. We are going to make sure that the building is done in a manner that is even asymmetrical. That is, we may have to put more in before we get much out,” he said. Noting that the two countries have got a good pattern of defence cooperation, he said they have to sort out some trade issues. “We need to get our heads together on China. The rise of Chinese power is as much an issue for India as it is for us,” he said.
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“Pakistan…, the kind of restraint we need to exercise on Pakistan to be a responsible player in the region. And there are needs from India and her dealings with Pakistan where we now have pressing interests. Afghanistan, these are all questions that we can tackle,” the former American diplomat said. “India is a rising power. At the same time, Americans have got to be very careful and not take our associates about what’s good for the United States and then transfer them to India,” he said. “India has her own realities and as President Trump and all of us in this country sit down and think about where we’re going in the future, we need to be very careful that we understand exactly, first of all, India is a rising power but it’s not yet a great power. It’s on its way but it has a lot of building to do,” he said.