In keeping with the rapid acceleration of US-India ties, former US Ambassador to India Robert Blackwill has made out a strong case for Washington endorsing New Delhi for a permanent seat in the UN Security Council.
"We should announce that in the framework of basic reform of the United Nations, the United States will support India as a permanent member of the Security Council," he says.
Writing in 'The National Interest', a leading quarterly, Blackwill also wants the US to promote India's early induction into the exclusive G-8 group. "India's economic punch, its increasing geopolitical reach and its vibrant democratic institutions all demand that it be at the head table."
In his extensive article, the former Bush aide has also counselled Pakistan to accept the Line of Control as the border in order to pave the way for a speedy resolution of the Kashmir issue.
"Unless the Pakistani government and the army change for good their objective and accept the current division of territory, the Kashmir dispute will go on for a very long time," he noted.
Hailing Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's recent initiatives that have culminated in the US's willingness to assist India in civil nuclear power generation, Blackwill said: "This is a major breakthrough because the non-proliferation fraternity had been dead-set against this throughout the first term."
Going a step further, he expressed the view that the US should now integrate India into the evolving global non-proliferation regime as a friendly nuclear weapons state.
"We should end constraints on assistance to and cooperation with India's civil nuclear industry and high-tech trade, changing laws and policy when necessary. We should sell civil nuclear reactors to India...We should also enter into a vigorous, long-term program of space cooperation with India," he said.
He also welcomed the US's inclination to sell F-16 and F-18 fighter aircraft to India as well as to consider co-production and licensing agreements for those aircraft and other advanced US weapons systems.
On Kashmir, Blackwill faulted Islamabad's approach, given the fact that New Delhi will not give up any territory that it now controls as also its position on the return of Pakistani-occupied Kashmir to India.
"But the Indian elite would likely settle for the permanent international border being drawn along the current line of control," he said, urging Pakistan to accept this reality.
Having been thwarted in its bid to take Kashmir by military force, Pakistan has over the past decade and a half "used terror as an instrument of attempted change" but that too has not succeeded.
Blackwill expressed the view that at a time when it should develop a new strategy or change objectives, Pakistan has still not made the strategic shift away from its long-time policy of cross-border terrorism. According to him, the terrorist infrastructure inside Pakistan is still in place.