New Delhi: India will discuss the 13 July Mumbai bomb blasts with the US, as part of cooperation on counter-terrorism, during talks that will be co-chaired by secretary of state Hillary Clinton and foreign minister S.M. Krishna, senior Indian officials said on Friday.
The two will head teams at the second India-US strategic dialogue next week in New Delhi.
Curbs on outsourcing and restrictions on the travel of Indian information technology (IT) professionals to the US, including visa caps, will also be raised during the talks slated for 19 July, said an official who declined to be identified.
Clinton, who arrives in India late Monday, will spend the next two days in the country. During her stay, she will meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Congress president Sonia Gandhi and leader of the opposition Sushma Swaraj in New Delhi.
The US delegation includes 25 officials who will hold talks with their Indian counterparts from the commerce, science and technology, home, intelligence, environment and education ministries.
Clinton will leave for Chennai on Wednesday where her engagements are expected to include a meeting with Indian students and a visit to the Ford Motor Co. plant. She leaves on Thursday for Indonesia.
“Counter-terrorism cooperation between India and the United States has been ongoing and it has increased tremendously since the November 2008 attacks. The (blasts of) 13 July would be part of the exchanges,” said the official.
US deputy secretary of state William Burns spoke to foreign secretary Nirupama Rao after the blasts offering help in the investigations. India and the US have intensified counter-terrorism and intelligence-sharing cooperation since the 26/11 terrorist attack in Mumbai, which killed 166 people, including six Americans.
Another issue that will come up during the strategic dialogue will be US curbs on outsourcing to IT firms in India, said the official mentioned above. “This is an issue of priority for us—not just outsourcing, (but) the movement of Indian IT professionals into the US,” he said.
The US has passed several laws in the past year that have increased the costs of work visas availed of mostly by Indian IT workers. The $60 billion (nearly Rs 2.7 trillion) Indian IT export industry gets almost two-thirds of its revenue from the US.
It was during Clinton’s visit to New Delhi in July 2009 that India and the US decided to launch the strategic dialogue based on five pillars—strategic cooperation, including defence and counter-terrorism cooperation; energy and climate change; economics, trade and agriculture; science, technology, health; and innovation and education. The first India-US strategic dialogue was held in June 2010 with Krishna travelling to Washington.