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'Bush's India trip is historic'

Newsweek has compared US President George W. Bush?s upcoming India visit to Richard Nixon?s historic China visit in the 1970s that pierced the ?bamboo curtain? and set the stage for unprecedented Sino-American economic engagement.

india Updated: Feb 23, 2006 02:21 IST

Newsweek has compared US President George W. Bush’s upcoming India visit to Richard Nixon’s historic China visit in the 1970s that pierced the “bamboo curtain” and set the stage for unprecedented Sino-American economic engagement.

The Bush visit could do the same thing for India in the strategic sphere, via the proposed nuclear deal. “If successful, it could well alter the strategic landscape, bringing India firmly and irrevocably onto the world state as a major player,” writes Newsweek international editor Fareed Zakaria in the latest issue of the magazine. In both the US and India, policy wonks are currently battling their own “ayatollahs”, says Mumbai-born Zakaria, adding that strategists on both sides will have to prevail over ideologues if the troubled deal has to succeed.

“It might be worth remembering all the costs the US and China had to deal with in 1973. For the US, there was the sellout of China and the reversal of decades of American policy. On the Chinese side, there was the abandonment of the basic ideology and strategic posture of the communist revolution. And yet, both sides saw the benefits and moved forward. And look how it changed the world,” he notes.

Bush himself characterised the visit to India and Pakistan as an “important trip”. He told newsmen on Tuesday: “We’ll work on a variety of issues with both countries — security, prosperity and trade; working with India, of course, on energy security.”

First Published: Feb 23, 2006 02:21 IST