Conflict & Justice

Clinton visit to chart next phase of US-India alliance

U.S. secretary of state Hillary Clinton and Indian external affairs minister SM Krishna will map out a plan for bolstering US-India ties when Clinton visits New Delhi next week, but the focus will be on the developments in Afghanistan and Pakistan, the Hindustan Times quoted diplomatic sources as saying.

Clinton will visit India on July 19 and 20.

"At the forthcoming Strategic Dialogue, we also hopeto have new initiatives in the field of civil aviation, and in the area of cyber-security," the paper quoted a senior Indian diplomat as saying. "Besides bilateral issues, there would be discussions on regional issues including the situation in our neighborhood, developments in the Asia-Pacific and in the wider Middle-East."

That jargon-filled rhetoric aside, observers will be keen to gauge how the recent U.S. moves in Pakistan, including the stoppage of $800 million in military aid, will influence US-India relations. On the one hand, the move could mark a further step in the shift away from Islamabad toward a closer embrace of New Delhi, but on the other it may limit the real substance that Clinton can offer -- as the U.S. doesn't want to alienate Pakistan entirely.