Ahead of Obama visit, McCain speaks on India
Calling for better Indo-US ties to achieve three strategic goals, the prominent Republican leader said, "First, to shape the development of South Asia as a region of sovereign, democratic states that contribute to one another's security and prosperity. Second, to create a preponderance of power in the Asia-Pacific region that favours free societies, free markets, free trade, and free commons.
And finally, to strengthen a Liberal international order and an open global economy that safeguard human dignity and foster peaceful development,"
He went on to quote Shyam Saran, former Indian Foreign Secretary, to state that India and United States shared the common interest of complete development of South Asia.
"In South Asia, India's immediate neighbourhood, US and Indian interests could not be more congruent. India's former foreign secretary, Shyam Saran, put it well: 'India would like the whole of South Asia to emerge as a community of flourishing democracies," McCain said.
Identifying terrorism emanating from Pakistan and Afghanistan as a major threat to this vision, McCain recalled his trip to India, when the country was still reeling under the after effects of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks.
"The main challenge to this common vision, as well as a central threat to US and Indian security, is the violent Islamist extremism emanating from Afghanistan and Pakistan. My last visit to India was, by chance, just days after the tragic date that Indians mark as 26/11, the terror attacks in Mumbai," he said, adding, "being in India then was like experiencing September 11th all over again."
The issue of terrorism is on the priority list of Obama's visit. In fact, the American President will first land in Taj Hotel, the target of the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks, where he will pay tribute to the 26/11 victims and meet some of the survivors.