Emphasising the "upward trajectory" of India's relationship with the US, Prime Minister Narendra Modi asserted that India's development should be benchmarked against other democracies, not China.
In an interview with the UK-based The Financial Times, Prime Minister Modi also brushed aside a question about a recent relaxation of US-China tensions, saying they are “best addressed by the people and government of America and China”.
In response to a question about whether India's strengthened ties with the US could be termed an alliance, Modi said, “Regarding the best words to describe this relationship, I leave it to you…Today, the India-US relationship is broader in engagement, deeper in understanding, warmer in friendship than ever before.”
“The world is interconnected as well as interdependent. Our foremost guiding principle in foreign affairs is our national interest…This stance allows us to engage with various nations in a manner that respects mutual interests and acknowledges the complexities of contemporary geopolitics,” he said.
PM Modi's remarks came after an interview with the Financial Times published on Wednesday, in which Prime Minister Modi addressed allegations of an Indian assassination plot in the US to kill Khalistan terrorist Gurpatwant Singh Pannun.
“If someone gives us any information, we would definitely look into it. If a citizen of ours has done anything good or bad, we are ready to look into it. Our commitment is to the rule of law,” Modi had said on the alleged plot against Pannun.
He had also played down any impact that this issue may have on India-US ties.
On India’s growth, he said, “You have done a comparison with China, but it might be more apt to compare India with other democracies… It’s important to recognise that India wouldn’t have achieved the status of the world’s fastest-growing economy if the issues you’ve highlighted were as pervasive as suggested… Often, these concerns stem from perceptions, and altering perceptions sometimes takes time.”
Kuldeep is Senior Editor (Newsroom) at Swarajya. He tweets at @kaydnegi.
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