Entries in India (4)


Sarah Palin Explains 2008 Loss, Remains Mum on 2012

Spencer Platt/Getty Images(NEW DELHI, India) -- While speculation continues to mount that Sarah Palin could enter the 2012 presidential race, at an appearance Saturday in India the former vice-presidential candidate reflected on the 2008 race.

Asked why she and Republican nominee John McCain failed to beat Obama, Palin blamed “the media,” and then noted, “no, I’m kidding.” As reported by Politico, Palin suggested Obama won because he succeeded in branding himself as the “change candidate.”

When the moderator, India Today's Editor-in-Chief Aroon Purie, noted that Palin could have taken on a similar platform, she replied, “I wasn’t the top of the ticket.” The comment reportedly stirred laughter from the crowd and the former Alaska governor added, “I wasn’t saying I should have been.”

As for her plans for the upcoming presidential race, Palin repeated her belief that there is no rush to declare candidacy but did note that she thinks it’s time for a woman president in the United States. “There's still time to deliberate on that,” she said of the 2012 race.

Palin has said recently that it could be months before she makes a decision.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Obama to Announce US support for Indian Seat on UN Security Council

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(NEW DELHI, India) -- President Obama will deliver a speech to the Indian Parliament Monday morning in which he will call for India to become a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council -- a huge development in the world of international politics, and one virulently opposed by India’s nemesis, Pakistan.

“This is a decision the president has made because of the strategic importance of India, because the president is fighting for jobs in America, because the president sees a more prosperous and peaceful Asia, India is a cornerstone of that Asian policy,” said U.S. Ambassador to India Tom Roemer in an interview with ABC News.  “We have security challenges in Afghanistan, fragility in Pakistan, great economic markets in India.  India is a partner strategically in the Indian ocean and in maritime security and in intelligence sharing.  This is really an indispensible partnership, as the president has said.”

India's desire for a seat on the powerful security council has been well-known for years, but until now the U.S. refrained from taking a position as others including Brazil, Egypt, Germany, Japan, and South Africa have also started campaigning for a slot on a reconstituted and reformed council.  The White House also supports Japan being given a permanent seat, as first pledged by President George W. Bush.

There are currently five permanent members of the UN Security Council -- the U.S., U.K., Russia, China and France.  But for years, United Nations officials have discussed reforming and expanding the security council to better represent the world.

The president will “discuss how we look forward to a reformed Security Council that includes India as a permanent member,” said deputy national security adviser for strategic communications Ben Rhodes in a preview of the president’s speech.  “This is of course a very important issue to the Indian people and it reflects in an important way the extent to which the United States welcomes India on the world stage as a risen power and as a key partner of ours.”

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Obama Works on Mending Ties Between India and Pakistan

Photo Courtesy - The White House/Chuck Kennedy(NEW DELHI, India) -- White House officials say one of the goals of President Obama's 10-day trip to Asia is not just to encourage Indian leaders to resume talks with their Pakistani counterparts, but to encourage India's leader and people to reconsider the entire way it looks at its relationship with its longtime nemesis.

The issue of Pakistan came front and center in a public way when President Obama faced some tough questions on the subject of Islamist extremists from students at Mumbai's St. Xavier College.  The issue of extremists within the Pakistani government is of dire consequence, and not just for India.

“Pakistan is the most dangerous country in the world today; it's the epicenter of the global jihadist movement,” says former Obama White House adviser and CIA analyst Bruce Riedel.  “It's where the al Qaeda leadership lives, it's where they plot.”

India cut off direct talks with Pakistan after Pakistani terrorists attacked Mumbai two years ago this November, slaughtering more than 160 people.

On Saturday, after President Obama failed to mention the word "Pakistan" in his commemoration of the victims of that attack at the Taj Hotel, the omission was criticized by many in India, including the spokesman for India's opposition party, who called the remarks "a complete disappointment, as the world and United States had proof that the attack was planned on Pakistani soil by its intelligence agencies."

A White House official says that "the President knew that he would have multiple opportunities on this trip to talk about Pakistan.  His remarks at the Taj were about honoring those who were lost and showing our solidarity with India in combating terrorism."

Obama is trying to convince Indian Prime Minister Singh to work with Pakistan's leaders to strengthen their hands against extremist elements in their country and to focus on the broader goal of a stable Pakistan.

“I am absolutely convinced that the country that has the biggest stake in Pakistan's success is India,” the president told students at Xavier.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Midterms Require 'Course Corrections,' President Obama Says

Photo Courtesy - SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images(MUMBAI, India) -- At his town hall meeting at St. Xavier College, President Obama was asked how the midterm elections would impact his foreign policy, particularly as it relates to India.

"One of the wonderful things about democracy is that when the people are not happy it is their right, obligation and duty to express their unhappiness much to the regret sometimes of incumbents," the president said. "But that’s a good thing, that’s a healthy thing."

The president said the election results "also requires me to make some mid-course corrections and adjustments. And how those play themselves out over the next several months will be a matter of me being in discussions with the Republican Party, which is now going to be controlling the House of Representatives, and there are going to be areas where we disagree and hopefully there are going to be areas where we agree."

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio