Wednesday, November 5, 2008

What does Obama's victory mean for India?

What cheers India and what makes it cautious about Obama presidency:

What Cheers India:

Natural Ally: Obama says building strategic partnership with India top priority and sees India as a natural strategic ally of the US in the 21st century.

Terrorism and Pakistan: More focussed on ending terrorism and Al Qaeda by concentrating on finishing Al Qaeda sanctuaries in Pakistan and bringing stability in Afghanistan. Plans to increase aid to Afghanistan.

Iraq and Muslim world: Promises withdrawal of troops in Iraq within 18 months - a fountainhead of hostility against the US in the Muslim world. Makes it easier for India to deal with a US with better standing in the Middle East.

Economy: Favours greater regulation of financial institutions.

Backs immigration reform and H1B visa programme.

What makes India cautious:

CTBT: Obama has strong views on non-proliferation. May try to force India to accept CTBT (Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty) and provoke a fresh debate in India on this sensitive issue. Shouldn't be a problem after the US, China come on board.

Kashmir: May try to play peace-keeper in Kashmir, a tendency that is likely to be resented and opposed by India which sees Kashmir as a bilateral issue between India and Pakistan and one that does not need third-party intervention.

Outsourcing: India fears global financial meltdown may force Obama to turn protectionist. Obama has promised tax incentives for US companies that create new jobs.

Track with co.mments

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