New York, Mar 1: The current visit of President George Bush to India is far more important than the nuclear deal, agreed in principle during the visit of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to Washington in July, an editorial in The New York Times has said.
The editorial, appearing in yesterday's editions, said bilateral relations have never been more vital because of the global war on terrorism, the search for sustainable energy resources and the UN pledge to cut in half world's poverty by 2015. India's is home to about 500 million poor people and also has the second largest Muslim population.
"So it is a pity that this trip, which should focus American attention on such a rich array of issues, now revolves largely around whether India and America will manage to conclude a nuclear deal that shouldn't have been initiated to begin with," the Times opined.
"Comparing with former President Bill Clinton's five-day visit six years ago," the daily said, "Mr Bush's three-day presidential trip is far more significant for both strategic and economic reasons." The Times, in its editorial last week, opposed the nuclear deal with India. And yesterday, it reiterated the view by describing the deal as the 'wrong-headed' decision on part of America.
"President Bush wants to carve out an exception for India. That's the worst possible message to send to other countries," the editorial said.
"Already, Pakistani officials are requesting the same deal for their country." The newspaper called upon the US Congress to 'kill' the India nuclear deal.