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World listens when India’s PM speaks, says Obama

When PM Manmohan Singh speaks, the world listens, said US President Barack Obama when the two met on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Toronto. “The world listens attentively when you speak. You have a deep understanding of economic issues,” Obama told Singh. Umakant Lakhera reports.

world Updated: Jun 29, 2010 02:51 IST
Umakant Lakhera

When Prime Minister Manmohan Singh speaks, the world listens, said US President Barack Obama when the two met on the sidelines of the G-20 summit here on Sunday.

“The world listens attentively when you speak. You have a deep understanding of economic issues,” Obama told Singh. “India is emerging as a superpower and the world is fully aware of this reality,” he added.

Returning the compliment, Singh said: “You are a role model for millions all over the world. Yours is a life history that inspires millions of people.”

During the meeting, officials later revealed, India emphasized that Pakistan must rein in its terror groups and act on the evidence provided by David Headley in the 26/11 attacks.

India, however, did not raise the issue of extraditing Union Carbide CEO Warren Anderson to face trial in India for the Bhopal gas tragedy. Singh also referred to the internal challenges faced by the world’s largest democracy: “When you come to India, you will see for yourself how big a challenge it is to run the world’s largest democracy.”

Later, Singh met his Canadian counterpart Stephen Harper to sign a civil nuclear deal by which Canada agreed to supply uranium to India and cooperate in nuclear research. The step saw Canada lifting sanctions that had been in place for 36 years — since the first Pokhran test of 1974. Singh also sought a crackdown on Sikh militant groups active in Canada. Canada has a sizeable Sikh population. (With agency inputs)