New Delhi, India and the U.S., the world’s largest democracies, need to work together to win the battle against extremists in Afghanistan, former U.S. President George W Bush said on Saturday.
Addressing a summit of leaders on Saturday, Bush said: “The U.S. and India must work together to win the war inAfghanistan.”
In a brief speech he delivered before a select audience, Bush warned: “If the Taliban, Al Qaeda and the extremists are allowed to take over Afghanistan, which would have a safe haven again.”
India is a natural ally of the U.S. in the fight against terrorism, he said.
“Our two countries are engaged in an ideological struggle against the fundamentalists. They hate our lives, our vision of human rights … We must use our intelligence to find, disrupt their networks and bring them to justice,” he said. The two countries “wanted to promote our values of freedom, tolerance and hope.”
Former U.S. president insisted that the best way to fight terrorism would be to promote the values of justice and freedom.
He said the U.S. and India should be one of the best relationships in the world. “It will not happen immediately.”
Better intelligence and military is the best way to combat terrorism.
He further noted that Osama bin Laden is alive and hiding.
Bush expressed his “deepest condolences” to victims and families who suffered in the terrorist attack in Mumbai in November 2008, which left some 170 dead, noting that the anniversary of the terror attacks of 26/11 was around the corner.
Like 9 / 11 on U.S. 26/11 served as a “moment of clarity” in India, he said.
He also referred to terrorist attacks in the Parliament of India and the Indian Embassy in Kabul.
Indo-US nuke deal
Bush has described the nuclear deal signed by Washington and New Delhi during his presidency, as India’s passport to the world. The nuclear agreement India’s economy, Bush said.
Addressing a summit of leaders on Saturday, Bush said the “historic” agreement will help India gain its rightful place in the world.
The agreement will give India an opportunity to get energy without pollution, he added.
“(By signing the agreement), the U.S. recognize India’s nuclear weapons program. It is India’s passport to the world,” Bush said.
“In 2006 we signed a historic agreement …. India now has the opportunity to get energy without pollution.”
Bush, whose foreign policy during his eight-year tenure was marked by a strong belief in unilateral U.S. power, said India was a priority in its foreign policy.
The former U.S. president said India was to help the world recover from the financial crisis in the world.