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'India more important for us than Pak'

Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defence for South and South East Asia James Clad says India is seen as a potential power with global reach.
PTI | By HT Correspondent, Washington
UPDATED ON OCT 31, 2007 05:05 PM IST

The United States has said that broad-based partnerships between America and India are critical and more important as compared to Pakistan, as New Delhi is growing as a potential power with global influence.

"The US-India strategic potential is very, very profound," Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defence for South and South East Asia James Clad told online journalists and bloggers during a conference call from the Pentagon.

While India's sometimes contentious neighbour, Pakistan, continues to search for Osama bin Laden and help wage the global war on terrorism, Clad explained, the US-Indian relationship is more important in the long run.

"India simply must, as a long term consideration, matter more for us than Pakistan," Clad has been quoted as saying in the American Forces Press Services.

"India is seen as a potentially power with global reach," Clad said.

"It's been slow in coming - I think it will be slow in coming in the future - but it is steady. The trend lines are unmistakable," he said.

Clad said India is on a major course to ramp up its military infrastructure with a multi-billion budget at the ready to purchase, among other equipment, 126 multi-role combat aircraft.

"It is the largest external-announced defence procurement budget in the world. And people are obviously interested in this," he said, adding 52 US defence corporations, including Boeing, Lockheed-Martin, Ratheon, Honeywell and General Electric, have all set up offices in India.

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