India and the US, which are close to inking the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA) has a ‘request and acceptance’ clause that would give them the right to refuse any request inimical to one’s interests.
The pact, negotiations for which are almost over, would primarily operate in the realms of humanitarian assistance and disaster management, training and joint military exercises, sources have told HT.
The logistics agreement has already drawn flak from both the Congress and Left who accused the National Democratic Alliance government of heading towards becoming a military ally of the US.
The government, however, said it believed that the allegation was far from the “reality of the text of the agreement being given final touches” and the criticism was politically motivated.
The ‘request and acceptance’ clause gives India the right to reject any request from the US, sources pointed out.
Apart from that clause, the agreement also includes ‘regulating financial credit, accounting and other arrangements’. To put it simply, for example, the Indian ships would get more time to foot the bills of American services instead of making upfront payments.
Another favourable aspect for India would be receiving spares easily for the US platforms it uses such as the C-17 and C-137 military aircraft.
In a joint press conference with US defence secretary Ashton Carter, defence minister Manohar Parrikar said on Tuesday that the countries had agreed “in principle” to conclude the agreement soon. They, however, clarified that the pact would not result in US troops being deployed on Indian soil.
“As our engagement deepens, we need to develop practical mechanisms to facilitate such exchanges,” Parrikar said.