Clinton's India visit: no hyphenation with Pak, policy speech tomorrow

Hillary ClintonWashington: Contrary to Islamabad expectations, US secretary of state Hillary Clinton's visit to the Indian sub-continent next week will be an exclusive one, focusing entirely on India. Not only will there be no hyphenation with Pakistan but the importance being assigned to the visit may be gauged from the fact that the secretary will outline her vision of the new upgraded relationship with New Delhi in a major foreign policy speech at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington tomorrow.

Pakistan embassy officials in Washington had been hinting through all of last week that secretary Clinton might accommodate Islamabad with a visit after completing her visit to India. The tune has changed and an October date is now being bandied about, though without confirmation from the State Department.

Ahead of the visit, State department spokesperson have stressed that India plays a 'vastly more significant role' in global issues which is why Clinton would not want to dilute its focus. State Department spokesman Philip J Crowley pointed out that the secretary herself had noted just a few days ago that 'relations between the world's largest democracy and the world's oldest democracy have improved significantly over the last 20 years.'

The visit would be secretary Clinton's attempt to take Indo-US relationship to a new level, or as she has dubbed it, launch ''Version 3.0.''

Looking at 'changing institutions, changing forms of partnership, changing mechanisms by which we have to address and solve the challenges of the world', Crowley said: 'India is playing a vastly more significant role in these issues.'

'So that as you outline the fundamental challenges that we face, climate change, non-proliferation, extremism, the global economy, food security for populations around the world, respect for cultural differences around the world. India is fundamental to all of those.'