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Ally status

Sir, — The Bush administration says it is willing to consider designating India a "major non-NATO ally" like Pakistan. Does India want to be one? Why ruin the balancing act it is following in its foreign policy vis--vis Russia, China and the United States?

India is better off without the "coveted" designation.

Kodali V. Rao
Reston, Virginia, U.S.

Sir, — It was folly on our part to think that we are a natural ally of the U.S. Washington is adept at changing colours. Further, given the quagmire the U.S. is in, it has no option but to pamper Pakistan.

A.U.S. Lal,
Berhampur, Orissa

Sir, — The U.S.' offer amounts to adding insult to injury. India has been a consistent opponent of all military alliances and a torchbearer of Non-Alignment. Let us hope our present day political leaders, some of whom often tend to toe the American line, will not be carried away by this "enticing" offer.

G. Radhakrishnan,
Thiruvananthapuram

Sir, — There is no need for concern over minor issues like Pakistan getting the status of a "major non-NATO ally" of the U.S.

K. Nagabhushana,
Hubli, Karnataka

Sir, — After having named Pakistan a "major non-NATO ally," without a care about the consequences, it is quite amusing that the U.S., as an afterthought, is now attempting to balance the equation by offering similar status to India.

The External Affairs Ministry's response that it had "not given any consideration to that kind of relationship with the U.S." could not have been more appropriate. Unlike Pakistan, which is subservient to the sole superpower, India is a sovereign, independent nation that can afford to deal with the U.S. on a one-to-one basis. India can do without such concessions, which invariably come with strings attached.

Nalini Vijayaraghavan,
Thiruvananthapuram

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