As the world waits for America to respond to the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, a once hidden factor in international relations is moving center-stage. After half a century of cool relations, the United States and India are quietly establishing a strategic partnership, which some see as a putative ‘alliance.’ With so much attention focused on Afghanistan and Pakistan in the looming war on terrorism, these new relations are of vital interest to the world. Indeed, India’s foreign and defense minister, Jaswant Singh has already offered India as a base for US military operations against terrorist targets. That Pakistan’s leader, General Musharraf, in the heat of domestic unrest caused by siding with the US anti-terrorist drive feels pressed to accuse India of “exploiting” the situation to improve US-relations, only underlines their growing importance in the region.
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