Former US ambassador to India, Robert D Blackwill, has expressed concern that a “substantial change” may be “underway in the quality and the intensity of US-India relations”.
He said there were preliminary indications that Obama’s approach towards India was different from that of George W Bush. “First, it is not clear that the Obama Administration has the same preoccupation with the rise of Chinese power and India’s balancing role in it. So China today appears, at least to me, to be on a substantially higher plane in US diplomacy than India.”
He also warned that there were numerous issues that could cause problems in the US-India relationship in the recent future. “The possible effect of… an enveloping US preoccupation with Pakistan seems on its way in practical terms to re-hyphenating the US-India relationship… ,” Blackwill said.
This, he said, will produce a growing US interest in trying to reduce tensions in the India-Pakistan relationship, not least because Islamabad will argue that tensions with India and the Kashmir dispute are preventing it from moving robustly against the Islamic terrorists within their midst. “So India may well encounter eventual US pressure from on the subject of Kashmir,” he said.