I don’t want to put words in his mouth, but generally he
found the meetings to be very productive. The fact that he
stayed behind and had more in-depth meetings is an indication about what he thinks about the relationship and we
believe it as well.
The terrorism issues are very
troubling to India and the
United States just using ISIL as
an example in Iraq and Syria.
There are millions of Indians
who live in the countries that are
most affected — Iraq and neighboring countries that can be
most affected by ISIL.
Even as we were meeting,
there were a number of Indian
construction workers in Iraq
whose whereabouts were
unknown with the strong suspicion that they might be under
captivity by ISIL. So, a lot of
Indians face this threat abroad,
but also even at home.
Al Qaeda has announced an
intent to start activities in the
Indian subcontinent and with
the very real scars left behind by
the terrorist attacks on
November of 2008, certainly
Adviser Doval understands the
threats and is looking for good
partners to try to mitigate the
prospects of catastrophes like
the November 2008 attacks.
In your meetings with the senior Indian government offi-
cials, did you encourage India to join the US-led coalition
Absolutely. Anything that India could do to be helpful, we
would appreciate it. The coalition is a broad coalition
already with a number of nations and each nation is setting
the terms of its own engagement. It’s not like… there’s a one
size fits all.
So, hopefully (India will join), and the prime minister
had strong words at the UN about ISIL representing a
threat to humanity and we really appreciated his strong
statement on that when he was at the UN.
Rewinding on to some of the US-India trade issues where
there has been a lot of US concern about intellectual property rights and India’s torpedoing the Trade Facilitation
Agreement at the World Trade Organization, did you bring
up these concerns?
We did talk about them, (but) I am not the trade negotiator and we don’t speak for the administration. So, we
weren’t in a position to hash them out and find resolutions.
We explained the US position and Indian leaders explained
their position. But we all share the goal that trade between
the United States and India has grown five-fold since the
early 2000s, which is a spectacular trajectory.
I think both — the Indian governmental and private sector leaders and we — view that as only the beginning. We
believe that it can be much, much more.
We shared our view of that and the fact that we want to
do what we can to make that happen.
Besides Delhi, you also visited Mumbai. Can you speak of
your visit there and your meetings with the leaders of busi-
ness and industry and the thrust of your discussions?
The Mumbai visits were very productive. We visited the
Mazagon Docks, which I really enjoyed to have a chance to
see. Now, that is a state-owned company, (but) it runs like
a private company…
We had three roundtable sessions. We had a roundtable
with Indian CEOs to talk about, first, their perception of
this moment in Indian political and economic life, their
level of optimism about economic acceleration, but also
about opportunities for US-India business to business rela-
We then had a similar roundtable, but this time it was
with the CEOs of American companies operating in India,
so it would largely be multinationals, with a significant
India presence and the CEOs of the Indian operations.
And, again, it was to talk about the same issues and getting
their take on the possibilities for deeper ties.
Then, we had a meeting with the CEO of the Tata Group,
Cyrus Mistry, and that was a very good meeting — he and a
number of his division heads met with us.
Looking at their levels of optimism, about economic
acceleration under the new government, which were high
and they shared what they thought some of the challenges
were that the government faced, just like any government
They shared those, but they have a real sense of optimism
about this moment and particularly, the opportunity for
deeper US-India business to business relationships.
After Delhi you went to Pakistan and met Prime
Minister Nawaz Sharif, Chief of Army Staff General
Raheel Sharif, the Adviser to the Prime Minister on
National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz, and a
number of parliamentarians.
There has been a lot of tension between India and
Pakistan in recent months over Pakistan’s violation of the
Line of Control. India, in fact, cut off the scheduled talks
with Pakistan over these continuing violations.
What were your discussions with the Pakistanis in terms
of alleviating these tensions in Delhi and in Islamabad?
There are two issues. First, a desire to just find a cease-fire along that border. I am aware that skirmishes along
the Line of Control happen every year to some extent. But
what we heard in both India and Pakistan was that the
activities this year have been more aggressive than they’ve
been in the past.
It’s more significant, with more civilians being affected
than in the past. So, certainly, the immediate desire, since
civilians are being affected by this, is for there to be ceasing of these activities along the border. We certainly
shared our strong hope for that both with Indian and
Long-term, the issues between India and Pakistan need
to be worked out in bilateral dialogue between those coun-
tries. We also encouraged that and I know there’s a region-
al meeting coming up in the near future of nations in the
region — a SAARC regional meeting — and it’s my under-
standing that both prime ministers will attend.
I thought it was very positive when Prime Minister Modi
invited Prime Minister Sharif to his swearing in as prime
minister and the fact that they spent one-on-one time
together was a positive sign.
I hope there is some dialogue between them or between
their high level officials soon because both countries have a
lot to gain by a peaceful border.
You also visited Afghanistan. How much of a discussion
was there on Afghanistan during your meetings with Indian
and Pakistani officials?
Both in India and Pakistan, we heard a lot about
Afghanistan, especially praise for US efforts in Afghanistan
and there was a sense of relief that the electoral stalemate
was resolved with the formation of a government of national unity and some excitement about that.
Both officials in India and Pakistan, were saying to us
that the US needs to remain involved and we really stressed
that the US involvement post-2014, while we are moving
into a new chapter, it’s not the final chapter. They needed
to be assured that the US involvement is just not going to
come to an end within a couple of years.
We really tried to assure them that the commitment we
have to Afghanistan is significant and reiterated that we are
moving into a new chapter, but it’s not the final chapter.
It’s interesting that while India and Pakistan have many
differences, the tenor of their discussion with us about
Afghanistan and the US role in Afghanistan, they were saying exactly the same things.
United States Senator Tim Kaine says his visit to a US Agency for International Development Project site that supports improved sanitation
efforts in New Delhi, was “really the highlight of the
“We went to a neighborhood… in New Delhi to see
the sanitation project,” he told India
Abroad. “This is a neighborhood that
has maybe 15,000 or 20,000 people
living in it, in very tight quarters, very
poor sanitation and waste disposal
that leads to disease. USAID, along
with some NGOs — India-based
NGOs — and the New Delhi munici-
pal government have been working in
this neighborhood for a while to
improve sanitation practices, starting
with kids and then to adults, but real-
ly relying heavily on local women as
leaders of the effort.”
“They are absolutely thrilled that
Prime Minister Modi has made Clean
India a centerpiece because… they
feel like the work they are doing —
they and the other groups are doing
regarding improving sanitation
efforts — really now has the capacity
to take off because the prime minister
has made it so significant.”
“Seeing the improvement in sanita-
tion practices, seeing the educational
methods that community leaders use
to convince families, especially kids,
Kaine, who was accompanied by Senator Angus
King from Maine, said, “I know that Senator King
and I really viewed that as the highlight of our trip.”
The highlight Tim Kaine
COURTES Y: SENATOR TIM KAINE'S OFFICE