Seeking to downplay the row over 26/11 intelligence sharing , national security advisor Shivshankar Menon on Tuesday said access given to India by the US with regard to Pakistani-American terrorist David Headley was "unprecedented".
He added that such cooperation may not have been possible five years back.
Menon's remarks came within days of home secretary GK Pillai voicing disappointment over the US not sharing specific information on Headley, key accused in the 26/11 attacks.
"In India, (there is a debate on) how much did the US knew about Headley at what time and how much did they tell us. If you look at the broader picture, the kind of access we got to Headley is unprecedented. This is not what many states do very easily," he said.
He said the dissatisfaction over some aspects of the ties was because people expect more. "So, a lot of dissatisfaction we hear, whether it is outsourcing or counter-terrorism, (it is because) we expect this relationship to do much more," he said. "The level of engagement between our two countries is unprecedented. We never had this kind of engagement with each other in our history."
Menon said Obama's visit has given both the nations an opportunity to "actually put into practice and not just to showcase what we actually practice".
Menon also pitched for greater engagement with China. He admitted there were strong elements in this relationship, but it also had the potential to create instability.
"I do not think the two countries with 3,000-year-old tradition of statecraft cannot manage these things... But, we have to work over it," Menon said.