The US Secretary to State Mike Pompeo used BJP’s popular electoral slogan, ‘Modi hain to mumkin hain’, in his major India policy speech at the India Ideas Summit of US-India Business Council on Wednesday.
“As Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi said in his latest campaign, ‘Modi hai to mumkin hai,’ or ‘Modi makes it possible’, I’m looking forward to exploring what’s possible between our people,” citing the slogan Mike Pompeo has sought to take the bilateral relationship with India to the next level and said the Trump and Modi Administrations have a “unique opportunity” to make it happen.
Stressing on airstrikes and development PM Modi had given out this slogan during his electoral campaign in Uttar Pradesh before the recently concluded Lok Sabha elections.
Listing out some of the “big ideas and big opportunities” that can take the bilateral relationship to a new level, Pompeo said that he was very much looking forward to his trip to New Delhi later this month, and meeting Modi, and his new counterpart, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar.
Admitting that differences between the two countries remain in some of the key trade and business issues he said he truly believes the two nations have a unique opportunity to move forward together for the good of their people, the Indo-Pacific region, and the world.
“But we remain open to dialogue and hope our Indian friends will drop their trade barriers and trust in the competitiveness of their exporters and private-sector companies,” said Pompeo.
Mike Pompeo will be travelling to India, Sri Lanka, Japan and South Korea from June 24 to 30. His four-nation trip is aimed at deepening US partnerships in the strategic Indo-Pacific region. This is Pompeo’s second trip to India as the Secretary of State.
He claimed under President Donald Trump, the US has taken a tougher stand on Pakistan’s unacceptable support to terrorism. “Forging strong ties means formalizing these individual friendships. Last year, we kicked off the ”2+2 dialogue” alongside the Department of Defence. We’ve also reinvigorated the Quad Dialogue among India, the United States, Japan, and Australia – all like-minded democracies in the Indo-Pacific. These are all good steps.”
Pompeo furthered that India and America should embrace the strategic framework that works for both the countries. “We respect India as a sovereign power, with its own unique politics and strategic challenges. We realise it’s different to deal with the likes of China or Pakistan from across an ocean than across a border,” he said.
“It’s only natural that the world’s most populous democracy should partner with the worldn’s oldest democracy to maintain their shared vision for the Indo-Pacific, “The US State Secretary said maintaining that the US has already enabled American companies to export more high technology items to India, including cutting-edge defence platforms like armed UAVs and ballistic missile defence systems”.
Pompeo also claimed, “These are solid achievements, but we want to do much more. We clearly have overlapping interests in defence, energy, and space.”
Pompeo said that the first batch of India’s Apache helicopter is coming off Boeing’s production line in Arizona. Lockheed Martins F-21 and Boeing’s F/A-18 are the state-of-the-art fighters that could give India the capabilities to become a fully developed security provider in the entire Indo-pacific region.
Adding that the steps taken will give Indians reliable and abundant energy and help reduce dependence on regimes like Iran and Venezuela, Pompeo said: “On energy, we want to complete the Westinghouse civil nuclear project, and deliver more American LNG and crude.”
On space, NASA is already working with the Indian Space Research Organisation on the world’s most advanced earth-observation satellite and India’s second lunar mission, he informed.
On previous occasions too the US has spoken about the ties between India and the US reiterating that it has flourished under Modi’s leadership.
In March 2019 a US official had said, US-India relationship has really flourished since Modi took power. The highlight, I would say, was Prime Minister Modi’s visit to the White House in the June of 2017 where a lot of progress was made on the relationship.”
Last year, in a statement the US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis had backed Modi’s initiative to fight terrorism and reiterated that, “The United States and India, in Prime Minister Modi’s work, have overcome hesitations of history, carrying forward the legacy of friendship and making clear there is no contradiction between strategic autonomy and strategic partnership”.
In fact, soon after Donald Trump was elected as the President, Modi became the 5th world leader Trump spoke to. Since then the relationship between the two countries has just become stronger.
Because of Narendra Modi’s consistent efforts in the last five years, India is now considered to be a global power and a major security partner by the United States. So much so that the US President had once described Prime Minister Narendra Modi as his friend.