Amid drift, India, US sustain counter-terror fight

us-envoyAmid the perceived drift in their bilateral ties, India and the US have not allowed counter-terror cooperation to suffer, with the US envoy pledging equipment worth $300,000 to the Mumbai Police to aid the fight against terrorism.

In a terse speech, Nancy Powell, the outgoing ambassador of the US to India, alluded to the strategic nature of the India-US strategic partnership and underlined that counter-terror cooperation will continue to grow between the two countries.

“The relationship between the United States and India, which are the two oldest and the largest democracies in the world, is very strategic,” Powell, who resigned early this week as the US envoy, said in Mumbai, India’s commercial hub which was targeted by Pakistani terrorists over five years ago.

“Our two nations are committed to fighting terrorism and working to make life safe for all,” the envoy said after presenting Explosive Incident Countermeasures equipment worth $300,000 to the Mumbai Police to aid in the fight against terrorism.

In a unique exercise, the US State  Department has partnered with the Indian government since 1995 to train more than 2,000 officers under the Anti-Terrorist Assistance Programme. Over the last two years, the US has contributed around $10 million in training and equipment through the Anti-Terrorist Assistance Programme.

India and the US have been proactively engaged in multi-layered counter-terror cooperation, which acquired an added traction since the Mumbai mayhem.

Powell, the first US female envoy to India, announced her resignation March 31 amid a widespread perception that the India-US relationship, touted as the defining partnership of the 21st century, has drifted during her ambassadorial tenure.  The relations plummeted over the arrest and alleged ill-treatment of India’s then deputy consul-general in New York, Devyani Khobragade in December last year.


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