Hours before touching down in the US for attending the United Nations General Assembly and a meeting with the US President George W Bush, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was “hopeful” of the successful conclusion of the Indo-US civil nuclear deal despite the American preoccupation with the financial crisis.
<b1>During an informal interaction with journalists traveling with him to the United Nations, the Prime Minister said he saw no reason for any disappointment over the progress of the deal. “Yes, in politics one has to live with disappointment, but there is no reason for it now,” he said. Singh said he was reading about the reasons for the financial meltdown during his flight and stopover at Frankfurt.
“I know they are preoccupied with the situation. But still I am hopeful... though it is for the US Congress to now decide on it,” he said while asked whether he hoped to conclude the agreement during his current visit to the US.
The PM is scheduled to visit Washington on September 25. He evaded a direct comment on the American operations against terrorists in Pakistan territory. “It is an unusual and unique situation. We are studying it,” the PM said when asked for his opinion on it.
Prime Minister Singh said India and Pakistan would have to discuss the “enormous challenge” of dealing with terrorism. He said he would raise with Pakistan president the question of cross-border terrorism.
Asked whether his faith in market economy had been shaken by the financial sector meltdown, the Prime Minister said: “What it shows is that for a market economy to function effectively, governance has to improve.”