Islamabad: India is “powerful enough” to block an initiative at the WTO, said a Pakistani daily that, however, noted the move is “something of a U-turn by the neo-liberal” Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
An editorial in the News International Monday said that during US Secretary of State John Kerry’s visit to India on bilateral matters “there was slightly less cooperation”.
“The US is displeased with India for blocking an initiative at the World Trade Organisation to streamline customs procedures. India has said it will only agree to the measure if it is accompanied by a parallel agreement allowing it to stockpile and subsidise grains.
“The move is something of a U-turn by the neo-liberal Modi, who had criticised the Congress government for implementing a similar food security law, and he has obviously angered the Americans,” said the daily.
It added: “That India is powerful enough to resist such efforts should be welcomed.”
The daily said that Modi struck “another important blow against the US by criticising the surveillance regime the superpower maintains around the world”.
The editorial referred to the arrest of an Indian diplomat in the US for underpaying her maid despite asserting immunity and the travel restrictions the US had placed on Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his role in the Gujarat massacre, and said: “Kerry had quite the task at his first meeting with Modi”.
“None of these issues, however, mean that the burgeoning alliance between the US and India has met anything other than a temporary speed bump. Modi will likely meet President (Barack) Obama at the UN soon and the two countries are so intertwined on matters of trade that any problem will remain a minor impediment,” it added.
It went on to say that Kerry’s statement with Modi “took a none-too-subtle dig at Pakistan in its reference to terrorist safe havens and calls for the trial of the Mumbai attack suspects to be speeded up”.
“This should serve as a reminder that Modi’s initiative of inviting (Prime Minister) Nawaz Sharif to his swearing in and the subsequent exchange of letters may remain little more than a public relations exercise.”