WRAPUP 4-Obama wins India business; controversy over Pakistan

* Obama announces $10 billion in business deals

* India trip to boost jobs and exports after mid-term

# Obama fails to mention Pakistan, causing controversy
(Adds Obama business speech)

By Alister Bull and Patricia Zengerle

MUMBAI, Nov 6 (BestGrowthStock) – President Barack Obama announced
$10 billion in business deals on Saturday as he arrived in
India to boost U.S. exports and jobs after a mauling in
mid-term polls, but he ran into immediate controversy over

Obama flew into Mumbai, India’s financial hub, and
announced the United States would also relax export controls
over sensitive technology, a demand of India’s that will help
deepen U.S. ties with the emerging global power and its
trillion dollar economy.

While most of the announced deals had been pending for
months, Obama’s visit, the first leg of a 10-day Asian tour,
has been hailed as moving the United States closer to India as
Washington tries to revive a weak economy and gather support to
pressure China on its currency.

“The United States sees Asia, especially India, as the
market of the future,” Obama told a meeting of U.S. and Indian
business leaders. “There still exists a caricature of India as
a land of call centres and back-offices that cost American
jobs. But these old stereotypes, these old concerns, ignore
today’s realities.”

Obama’s first act was to pay tribute to victims of the 2008
Mumbai attacks, but he was criticised for making no reference
to India’s traditional foe Pakistan, which New Delhi blames for
harbouring anti-India militants.

Pakistan-based militants killed 166 people in a 60-hour
rampage through India’s financial hub, gunning down their
victims at luxury hotels, a train station and a Jewish centre.
India says elements in the Pakistan state were behind the

“We visit here to send a very clear message,” Obama said
after meeting victims’ families at the luxury sea-front Taj
Mahal Palace Hotel, the iconic landmark where TV images showing
it in flames after battles between militants and commandos came
to symbolise the massacre.

“In our determination to give our people a future of
security and prosperity, the United States and India stand


For more on Obama’s travels [ID:nSGE69P0D3]

Obama to push trade, FX issues [ID:nSGE69Q0H2]

Busy agenda on Obama’s four-nation trip [ID:nN03241439]

US exports top Obama priority [ID:nN27254192]

Economic issues at heart of trip [ID:nN01162255]

For a TV debate: http://link.reuters.com/taj24q


Saturday’s Taj speech highlighted the diplomatic test for
Obama. Indians want a strong statement against Pakistan for
fostering militants, but Washington must tread a fine line
between appeasing New Delhi and supporting U.S. regional ally

But Obama’s trip is also about business, with China now
ahead of the United States in trade with India.

The $10 billion in deals will support 54,000 jobs in the
United States, White House aide Michael Froman said.

The White House also announced Obama would support India’s
membership of four global non-proliferation organisations, a
move that will reassure New Delhi — left out of these groups
after its 1998 nuclear tests — that Washington is recognising
its global clout.

Obama will also visit Indonesia, South Korea and Japan on
the Asian tour that will see Washington push to prevent
countries unilaterally devaluing currencies to protect their
exports, a top theme at the Group of 20 heads of state meet in
Seoul next week.

Obama flew by helicopter to the Mumbai seafront before
heading to the Taj hotel. Onlookers pressed up against police
barricades along the motorcade’s short route.

With armed police at every road intersection, southern
Mumbai was turned into a fortress with police outnumbering
onlookers. Snipers kept vigil on the top of buildings along the

Across town, police took the precaution of removing
coconuts around Mani Bhavan, where Indian independence hero
Mahatma Gandhi stayed while in Mumbai and which now serves as a
museum that Obama visited on Saturday.

The 2008 Mumbai attack was launched by militants who
arrived by boat from Pakistan, coming ashore near the Taj. It
increased tension between the nuclear foes, who have been to
war three times since independence from Britain in 1947.


TV stations were abuzz with most Indian commentators
surprised about the softness of Obama’s Taj speech.

“This was a guarded statement,” strategic analyst Mahroof
Raza told the Times Now news channel. “No mention of Pakistan
conveys that Pakistan is key to their (Washington’s) Afghan
policy … and, therefore, Pakistan will not be brought to

The opposition also criticised the speech.

“Knowing fully well that Pakistan and Pakistani machinery
has been used for perpetrating terror in India, by not
acknowledging it he has disappointed the country as a whole,”
said Rajiv Pratap Rudy, spokesman for the Hindu nationalist
Bharatiya Janata Party.

Obama heads to New Delhi on Sunday. His Saturday-to-Tuesday
trip to India started just four days after his Democratic party
sustained big election losses tied to the weak economy, raising
doubts over how much the trip can yield given pressures at

On the agenda will be lucrative defence ties. The United
States has held more military exercises with India in the past
year than any other country, and U.S. firms Boeing (BA.N: ) and
Lockheed Martin Corp (LMT.N: ) are bidding for a $11 billion deal
for 126 fighter jets.

Washington still faces a host of hurdles, including Indian
worries that signing defence pacts — which are necessary for
the U.S. arms sales to go through — may land New Delhi in a
wider entanglement with the U.S. military.

Also, an increase in U.S. visa fees, a ban on offshoring by
the state of Ohio and the Indian IT industry’s portrayal in
campaign publicity as a drain on U.S. jobs have set a frosty
tone in India.
(Additional reporting by C. Bryson Hull and Nandita Bose in
MUMBAI; Writing by Alistair Scrutton; Editing by Krittivas
Mukherjee and Andrew Marshall)

WRAPUP 4-Obama wins India business; controversy over Pakistan