Most Indians still feel that US giving India short shrift

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Washington, Nov.24 (ANI): A majority of Indians across the United States feel that President Barack Obama gave too much deference to China during his recent Asia trip, and thus created doubts about whether Washington is on India's side, reports the Christian Science Monitor.

With Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh scheduled to meet President Obama at the White House Tuesday, there is a view in the Indian community that India would want to know if the Bush administration's recognition of it as the world's largest democracy and as a like-minded partner in a region of extremist threats and authoritarian governance was just a quirk, to be replaced by closer US ties to China.

"Now we need to test the US-India reality," says C. Raja Mohan, an Indian foreign-policy expert who is a scholar at the Library of Congress.

Obama and Singh are expected to announce joint programs in areas from education to clean energy and security. Intelligence sharing between the two countries has increased since last year's terrorist attack in Mumbai.

The leaders will also try to resolve the final glitches holding up implementation of a US-India civilian nuclear-power deal, which was the hallmark of the Bush overtures to India.

The Obama administration wants to nail down guarantees that the nuclear fuel to be provided for power generation does not end up being used for military purposes.

India is also wary of the Obama administration's stepped-up commitments to rival Pakistan, which it believes is still supporting extremists groups as a way to keep India off balance.

For its part, the administration is torn over India's growing involvement in Afghanistan in terms of civilian assistance and economic development. Although the involvement offers a valuable economic boost, it also causes misgivings among Pakistani officials and the military.

Singh will be looking for evidence that Obama values the "strategic partnership" that Bush cemented, said Neena Shenai, an adjunct scholar for South Asian issues at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington. (ANI)

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