As the inaugural US-India strategic dialogue started in Washington on Thursday morning, External Affairs Minister SM Krishna emphasised how terrorism emanating from Pakistani soil not only endangered India but also had ramifications for the American homeland.
During his opening remarks, Krishna, sitting next to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, made a pointed allusion to Pakistani-American Faisal Shahzad’s abortive attempt to stage a car bombing in the Times Square area of New York City.
He said, “The global nature of the security challenges that we face today, particularly the threat posed by transnational terrorism, requires us to cooperate more closely than ever before.”
Without naming Pakistan, he said, “The epicentre of this threat lies in India’s neighbourhood and reaches far and wide all across the world as we have seen time and again and most recently, a few weeks back, at Times Square.”
The highlight of the strategic dialogue will be the presence of President Barack Obama at a reception for Krishna at the State Department on Thursday evening.
Obama may well announce the dates for his visit to India in 2010 at the reception.
Krishna also said the strategic dialogue would provide a platform for “deepening and enlarging the relationship” between India and the US.
This was echoed by Clinton, who made the first remarks.