By Lalit K Jha
NOTING that there is an “unlimited potential” in Indo-US relations, India’s new Ambassador to the US Taranjit Singh Sandhu has said the two countries will stand shoulder to shoulder to combat terrorism and the Jihadi culture that is invading the world over.
The 1988-batch Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer on Thursday presented his credentials to President Donald Trump in his Oval Office of the White House.
Addressing a reception hosted in his honour on Thursday, Sandhu said, “The United States and India will stand shoulder to shoulder and face all the problems, whether it’s on the terrorism front or on the Jihadi culture, which is invading the world over.”
Noting that there is an “unlimited potential” between India the America, he said even though the two countries have come a long way since he came to Washington in 1997 on his first posting, there is so much that needs to be done.
“When it is the largest and oldest democracies, when it is the land of Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr, when it is Silicon Valley and Bengaluru and when it is Hollywood and Bollywood, then certainly the potential is huge,” Sandhu said.
He also highlighted the role being played by the Indian-American community in strengthening the bilateral ties.
It’s “come back home”, Sandhu said, referring to his two previous stints here as the Deputy Ambassador from July 2013 to January 2017 and as the First Secretary (Political) from 1997 to 2000.
The diplomat said every time he was posted in Washington, the time has always been challenging. “When I left, things had really smoothened up,” he said.
During his first posting, India faced sanctions from the US in the aftermath of the Pokhran nuclear tests in 1998 and in the second stint, his arrival was marked with the Devyani Khobragade incident.