Modi well positioned to shape bilateral ties with US

Washington, Nov 20: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has positioned himself well to boldly shape the contours of India- US relationship and dispelled the pre-election apprehensions that he would not be much encouraging on bilateral ties in view of his past visa issues, a noted foreign policy expert has said.

"Given the US government's previous denial of a visa to him, Modi's past was seen as a major factor shaping his potential views on the United States. Instead, Modi as Prime Minister has positioned himself well to boldly shape the contours of New Delhi's outreach to Washington," said Harsh Pant, Professor of International Relations at King's College.


Modi has articulated a vision of US–India ties as a relationship between equals, Pant wrote in the latest issue of Washington Quarterly yesterday. If the US has a unique ability to absorb people from all parts of the world, Indians too have a unique ability to become an integral part of the various societies to which they migrate, contributing to them in substantive ways, he said.

"It is Modi's confidence in India's economic future and the US corporate sector's confidence in Modi's stewardship of the Indian economy that has already resulted in investments worth USD 41 billion into India over the next 3 years and this is only 20 per cent of what is expected from the US," he said.

As the United States repositions its leadership in an increasingly complex Asian strategic landscape, and as India starts to get its economic and military act together, the two states need each other more than ever, he wrote.

"Modi has certainly signalled that he is not bogged down by the ideological predilections of his predecessors and is more than willing to rejuvenate bilateral ties. He is ready to confidently engage global powers, including the US, in order to further India's developmental goals," Pant wrote.

Washington certainly needs to reach out pro-actively to Modi and assure him that, while the past cannot be wiped out, the future of US–India relations can look bright if the present is managed productively, Pant insisted.

"There is no need for alarmist predictions if his past is any guide, Modi is the man best placed to turn the tide on the US–India bilateral front. And if his September 2014 visit to the United States is anything to go by, he may have already done that," he said.


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