Press Statement

The Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) has issued the following statement:

Indo-US Strategic Partnership:

Affects Independent Foreign Policy & Strategic Autonomy

The Bush visit has resulted in the UPA government going ahead with the “strategic partnership” with the United States which was forged during the Prime Minister’s visit to Washington in July 2005. The joint statement issued after the talks between the two sides builds upon the joint statement of July 18, 2005.

The CPI(M) considers the overall direction of the joint statement as a further step away from an independent foreign policy and the erosion of India’s strategic autonomy which is vital to our national interests. The joint statement contains agreements in the sphere of economic ties, political and ideological commitments, agreements on agricultural research, strategic military ties and nuclear cooperation. While the main attention has been focused on the nuclear cooperation agreement, it will be wrong to see this in isolation from the overall architecture of the emerging strategic alliance. The sum total of the Bush visit has been to draw India closer into the strategic plans of the United States in Asia.

The joint statement welcomes the report of the Indo-US CEO Forum and US-India Trade Policy Forum which contain the blueprint for opening up of sectors of the economy including defence for US capital and its corporations. President Bush echoed these demands in his Purana Qila speech for opening up all sectors to FDI. Acceptance of this blueprint would entail loss of economic sovereignty and adverse consequences for domestic industry and agriculture.

The Knowledge Initiative on Agriculture will facilitate US multinationals like Monsanto to decide the Indian agriculture research agenda and shift the focus from public domain science to the private sector.

Following the July 2005 decision to support the United States in its hypocritical talk of spreading democracy, India has agreed to join the “International Center for Democratic Transition” which is nothing but a US-sponsored platform to advance its hegemonic aims using the signboard of democracy. In this connection, the CPI(M) denounces Bush’s call for regime change in countries like Cuba, Iran, Syria and Zimbabwe in his Purana Qila speech. This is how the “democracy project” which India has joined will be utilised.

The largescale strategic defence collaboration signalled by the Indo-US defence agreement signed in June 2005 is taken forward with the Maritime Cooperation Framework and the Logistic Support Agreement to be finalized. This will further tie up the Indian armed forces with the US armed forces. The Bush visit also presages what has already been decided but not announced. That India will purchase billions of dollars worth of US fighter planes and other weaponary.

The CPI(M) had maintained that the nuclear cooperation proposals contained in the July 2005 statement must be addressed in a manner which protects the independent development of our nuclear technology for peaceful purposes. The CPI(M) had stated at that time “It is important that India carefully calibrate its steps strictly in response to measures taken by the US, the nuclear suppliers group and the IAEA.” The reciprocal steps to be taken by both sides have to be kept in mind.

The CPI(M) will spell out its stand on the nuclear cooperation agreement after the Prime Minister sets out the details of the agreement in parliament. At this stage what should be of concern is not just the specifics of the civilian nuclear cooperation but the unacceptable price that India will have to pay in terms of its independent foreign policy and strategic autonomy. The United States has already extracted a price by making the UPA government reverse its stand on the Iran nuclear issue. More such demands will emanate from the strategic tie-up with the United States.

The implications of the strategic partnership with the United States are unfolding in the manner in which the government has accommodated the US concerns on Iran, endorsed the spreading of its version of democracy, re-interpreted the energy policy by placing undue reliance on nuclear energy for our energy security and most dangerously tying up India as a military ally of the United States.
The CPI(M) considers this approach contrary to the NCMP perspective on foreign policy and our security interests. The CPI(M) will work assiduously to see that this course is reversed as it is harmful for the country and the people’s interests.