Thursday, March 02, 2006

US nurtures key South Asia ties

BBC NEWS | World | South Asia | US nurtures key South Asia ties: "As one of his former advisers put it: "India has 150 million Muslims, but no al-Qaeda." Mr Bush's hope is that India can influence its less democratic neighbours, most notably China.

"Unusual" because India is one of only three countries that has refused to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). India has gone on to secretly develop and test nuclear weapons. The US Congress would have to approve any deal, and some politicians believe that bending the rules for India now would send entirely the wrong signal to Iran and North Korea.

No doubt, Pakistan would also like US help with its civilian nuclear programme. But there will not be any such offer, given AQ Khan's murky involvement in the nuclear black market. Despite America's swift response to last year's earthquake, the US is still not loved here. The US president may be aware of hostile demonstrations."

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