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'Crying before Obama is not the solution'

November 04, 2010 20:21 IST
'We need to fight our own battles and stop riding piggyback on the US,' C D Sahay, former chief, Research and Analysis Wing, India's external intelligence agency, tells's Vicky Nanjappa.

"At no point am I suggesting that Obama's visit is not important, but we must realise that we need to fight our own battles and we need to stop riding piggyback on the US.

Our most serious problem is Pakistan. Instead of expecting the US to solve our problem, we should have a proper policy in place to deal with this problem.

How can we fall back on the US instead of developing our own intelligence network? The only way to keep terror at bay is to develop our own might and improve our intelligence."

"I find it strange when India acts as though it needs the US to solve its problems pertaining to Pakistan and Afghanistan. I agree that we face a huge problem from these two nations, but don't you think we should be the ones handing out information and helping the rest of the world solve this problem, considering that these two countries are our neighbours?"

"Even on the issue of terrorism, the world should be coming to India for information. I know at the moment it is tough, since the US has a stronger presence in Afghanistan and Pakistan."

"However, instead of waiting for Obama to come to India and address this issue, we should change our mindset and start fending for ourselves. I feel that this kind of dependence on the US is unjustified."

"Let us not expect Obama to come to India and address the issue of America's supply of arms to Pakistan. Do not expect Obama to solve this problem. Instead, let's increase our own defence preparedness to such a level so that we can deter any sort of misadventure."

"We must not forget that it is entirely the prerogative of the US to allow (Lashkar-e-Tayiba operative) David Headley's extradition or not. Try the man in absentia and I am sure that the US will not prevent that.

I feel that we have got a lot of information from him and that gap, which was present at the time of the 26/11 investigation, has been filled up."

"Seeking his extradition at this point of time is just an emotive issue and I am sure not much will happen even if India brings it up with Obama."

"I think India should move on and diplomatically handle the issue. Diplomacy has an important role in such matters and crying before the US president is not the solution."

"The other issue which will come up during the visit is regarding the permanent membership of the United Nations Security Council. I am sure India would want a statement from Obama in this regard and the same will be expected from Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao who will visit India at the end of the year."

"I don't think India should cry on this issue and expect the world to take notice of us. The day we start mattering to the world, they will come to us and that is the way it ought to be."

"Don't expect the US president to pursue our interests when he visits India. He is here to pursue his own interests. Let's not expect him to grant us everything that we ask him for."

"Treat him as an honourable guest and do not expect too many sound bytes from him.

"On tackling terrorism, which is a major concern for us, do not expect Obama to act. Acts of terror won't stop if Obama speaks up, they will do so only if we keep our house in order."

"As I said, sound bytes may be there, but such sound bytes provide comfort to the nation and a false sense of achievement for the government. Do not expect the US to compel our neighbours. Obama will have his own compulsions."

"Overall, I think the visit might have a negative impact. After he leaves, I am sure a lot of us will be talking about the things he did not do."

"Let us not raise our expectation levels too high and let us concentrate on being a good host."

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