Cameron arrives

British Prime Minister David Cameron arrived with the biggest ever British delegation in independent India to engage with PM Manmohan Singh, on three ‘‘areas of priority’’ — security and terror, economic ties and global warming. A day ahead of his meeting with Singh, Cameron set the right tone in Bangalore when he warned Pakistan against promoting any ‘‘export of terror’’ to India or elsewhere. But he would be required to go beyond generalities in the talks and address the resentment in New Delhi. The British have a plan to withdraw from Afghanistan in the next five years.Still, by saying what he has said on Pakistan’s export of terror, according to officials in India, Cameron may have preempted Singh who is expected to make the same points forcefully in his meeting with Cameron who is seeking to build a ‘‘new special relationship’’ with India. Cameron’s remarks in his interaction with reporters on Infosys campus in Bangalore came against the backdrop of US documents leaked to Internet whistleblower site WikiLeaks accusing ISI of secretly helping the Afghan insurgency even while acception aid worth billions for fighting terror. Cameron also said he is going to discuss with Singh the “leakage” of funds given to Pakistan by the US and UK. Meanwhile, India said on Wednesday that the controversial UK proposal to restrict non-EU emigration to UK will also be taken up in Cameron’s meeting with Singh. On business, Cameron believes that India could ease up certain restrictions that still impede investments. He feels that companies like Vodafone, which have made huge investments here, are being hit by a skewed tax regime and this was discouraging British investors. The delegation will also make a pitch for opening up the retail sector. On climate, the British PM is expected to goad India to take on higher committments on emission control and point out that when the Kyoto protocol was signed a number of countries were still economic laggards. Now these countries have grown and, in aggregate terms, responsible for a large proportion of global emissions. He is also expected to pledge a serious cut-back on emissions by the developed economies. While India and UK have historical linkages spanning over 300 years, the two countries will for the first time sign an MoU on culture on Thursday. With two-third of Company Paintings in Britain both the countries would like to come together to digitise them so that the world at large can access the entire collection. Both the countries also want to come together to fill gaps in their Persian and library collections. Similarly, India Office Records, 1857 papers, diary of nationalist leaders and viceroys could be shared. Britain is likely to announce on Thursday a 45-million pound research grant that can be used by Indian research students.

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