New Delhi: For nearly five decades India looked upon the United States with suspicion and its overall foreign policy assessment of the US was of deep caution, but the country has now overcome the assumptions to forge a different relationship with America, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said on September 21.
Jaishankar also said he wanted to give out the message that it was in the mutual interest of India and China to find a way to accommodate each other.
Jaishankar was speaking at the Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs in New York with former Niti Aayog vice chairman and Columbia University professor Arvind Panagariya on ‘India in the emerging global order’.
“Take our attitude towards the United States…between the late 40s and I would say 2000; the year Clinton came to India. For almost 50 years, for various reasons I’m not saying we were at fault, or the US was at fault, but the fact was we regarded the US with suspicion with a lot of wariness. It was a very substantive relationship, but the overall foreign policy assessment of the US was of deep caution if not of deep suspicion,” he said.
“Now the fact is when the world began to change the tenability of that view came into question. We struggled, even the nuclear deal in 2005-08 was a struggle because on the one hand the US was offering some very clear advantages. What held us back was an innate historical deeply rooted, possibly validated, suspicion of the United States. We kind of said this is a gift horse might we really need to look at in the mouth,” he added.
Jaishankar credited Prime Minister Narendra Modi in reshaping India’s relation with the US.