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Indian envoy publicly blasts US

Indian envoy publicly blasts US

Author: Aziz Haniffa in Washington, DC
Publication: Rediff on Net
Date: April 2, 2004
URL: http://www.rediff.com/news/2004/apr/02aziz.htm

India's Ambassador to the United States, Lalit Mansingh, on Thursday criticised the Bush administration for making Pakistan a 'major non- NATO ally'.

"Let me start by expressing our deep disappointment with what has happened," Mansingh said following his keynote speech at a conference entitled 'US-India Bilateral Cooperation: Taking Stock and Moving Forward', organised by the Sigur Centre for Asian Studies at George Washington University. "The disappointment is on account on both substance and style."

He said one of the biggest achievements "in my mind of the dialogue we had with the United States is the establishment of a level of trust.

"When President [Bill] Clinton went to India, there were apprehensions, would the United States do what it has done in the past, saying things we want to hear in India, then go to Pakistan and say things that Pakistan wanted to hear. What impressed us most about President Clinton was he said exactly the same things in both capitals.

"Now this is what we expect in a strategic partnership."

He accused the US of breaching trust.

US Secretary of State Colin Powell, within 48 hours of holding talks with Indian leaders in New Delhi, went to Islamabad and made the announcement of Pakistan becoming a major Non-NATO ally.

"Now it is the prerogative of the United States to do anything it likes with Pakistan. But you cannot remove the hyphen on paper and keep the hyphen in your mind, and say we have to do this for India, in which case we must do that for Pakistan," the envoy said.

"Now the explanations that were given I think made things worse when we were told that it wasn't important enough to share with you," Mansingh noted. "Then we're told, no big deal, we've been discussing it for months and months, so what is the big surprise.

"And three, if India wants it, we can also give it to you. So this has left a certain bitterness," he said.

Not once during these remarks did Mansingh mention Powell by name.
 


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