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India should behave like major world power: NYT

world Updated: Jul 19, 2009 00:27 IST

President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton should "encourage" India to behave like a "vital partner in building a stable world" that they want it to be, an influential US daily said Saturday.

"India wants to be seen as a major world power. For that to happen, it will have to drop its pretensions to nonalignment and stake out strong and constructive positions," the New York Times said in an editorial on Clinton's visit to India.

"President Obama and Clinton say they consider India a vital partner in building a stable world. Now they have to encourage India to behave like one," it said.

The India-US civil nuclear deal "was supposed to be the start of a beautiful new friendship," the Times said suggesting an agenda for Clinton ranging from a bilateral investment treaty, to climate change, Doha trade talks, to non-proliferation with "primary focus" on Pakistan.

"The two democracies can do a lot to deepen their relationship, including negotiating an investment treaty," it said. "But it is time for India to take more responsibility internationally.

"It needs to do more to revive the world trade talks it helped torpedo last year and - as a major contributor to global warming - to join the developed countries in cutting greenhouse gas emissions. And it needs to do a lot more to constrain its arms race with Pakistan and global proliferation.

"The primary focus must be Pakistan," the Times said welcoming the resumption of India-Pakistan dialogue interrupted after the November Mumbai attacks by Pakistani-based extremists.

"Clinton needs to assure India that Washington will keep pressing Pakistan to prosecute suspects linked to the Mumbai attacks and to shut down the Lashkar-e-Taiba group of extremists.

"Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his party have a strong mandate after the May elections. And the country has weathered the global recession better than most. That means that it has no excuses not to do more," the Times said.