New Delhi: Much scepticism had been expressed at the start of president Barack Obama's visit about its usefulness given the fact that no big-ticket announcements appeared to be in sight and all the announcements appeared to be headed in one direction only – big ticket contracts for American companies and face-savings announcements for a beleaguered president, who could now tell his constituents that he had already created 50,000 jobs from just this one trip alone.
But the surprise may have been saved for the near-end when the president addresses Indian parliamentarians in the evening.
Though all concerned are tight-lipped, it is widely expected that the missing big-ticket announcement may well be the much-awaited US endorsement for an Indian seat at the Security Council as a permanent member.
In the meantime both sides firmed up their positions on a number of issues that not just impact bilateral relations but also send a very clear message around the larger region of Asia apart from the immediate neighbourhood of the Indian sub-continent.
As for the much-ballyhooed 'K' word - something designed to raise hackles everywhere from Delhi to Srinagar to Islamabad - the American president reiterated what he has already stated in the earlier leg of his tour in Mumbai, that it was a bilateral issue which both parties could resolve in the time and manner of their choosing. America was prepared to help should both parties be interested.
He also made it clear that both nations should resume their dialogue - and this was the clincher - keeping in mind confidence-building measures, rather than raking up what are euphemistically referred to as 'core issues.'