Home India News Clinton visit: US firms to showcase counter-terror innovations

Clinton visit: US firms to showcase counter-terror innovations


New Delhi/Washington: With the July 13 Mumbai blasts putting the spotlight on increased security cooperation, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton reaches India Monday on a three-day visit during which American companies are expected to share new technologies and innovations in counter-terror they have developed since 9/11.

Besides counter-terrorism, civilian nuclear cooperation and the volatile situation in Afghanistan and Pakistan are expected to figure prominently in the second strategic dialogue Clinton will co-chair with External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna here Tuesday.

Clinton flies in here late Monday on a three-day visit that also includes a trip to Chennai, the hub of high-value American investments.

In the wake of Wednesday ‘s Mumbai blasts that killed 19 people and injured over 100 people, the US-India Business Council (USIBC) will organise briefings on Tuesday by US companies for Clinton’s delegation that comprise senior US officials, led by Under Secretary of State Robert Hormats.

“American companies will feature in their discussions the most promising US technologies, innovations, and counter-terrorism measures developed since the 9/11 terror strikes on American soil,” the USIBC, a premier business advocacy organization set up to expand commercial ties, said in a statement Sunday in Washington a day ahead of Clinton’s visit.

“Technology intervention, especially by those innovations that have grown out of the experiences garnered from 9/11 in the United States can provide a shared platform to fight this common enemy,” said Ron Somers, president of the USIBC.

“Business is hopeful that efforts to spur investment in homeland security, in defense trade, as well as in green infrastructure development between the United States and India, creating a stronger ‘two-way street’ of information flow, will be high priorities for discussion in the upcoming US-India Strategic Dialogue,” he added.

With no clear leads emerging in 13/7 attacks, India is likely to ask the US for assistance in probing the Mumbai bombings, said well-placed sources.

Sources, however, did not speculate on the kind of cooperation India may want from the US on the July 13 terror strikes in Mumbai, saying it would not be prudent to go into the specifics at this stage.

Top US counter-terrorism officials, including US Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper and Deputy Secretary, Homeland Security Jane Holl Lute, are among those accompanying Clinton on her three-day visit that begins Monday.

The Indian delegation would include Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Sam Pitroda, adviser to the prime minister, Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao, Foreign Secretary-designate Ranjan Mathai, the secretaries of home, commerce and environment ministries. Nehchal Sandhu, director, Intelligence Bureau, will also participate in the discussions.

At the strategic dialogue, India and the US will discuss an entire gamut of issues including strategic cooperation, energy and climate change, education, science and technology, health and defence.

India is also set to seek a fresh assurance from the US that the new norms of the Nuclear Suppliers Group which deny access to enrichment and reprocessing (ENR) technologies to countries which have not signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) will not impinge on Washington’s commitment to implement full civilian nuclear cooperation with India.

The US is expected to update New Delhi about its diplomatic outreach efforts to make New Delhi a member of the four top global export control regimes that include the NSG, Wassenaar Arrangement, Australia Group and the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR).

The situation in Afghanistan would prominently figure in the strategic dialogue. Clinton is expected to brief India on its negotiations with a section of the so-called moderate Taliban and reiterate the importance of India’s role in the reconstruction of that country.