Bush: U.S. shouldn't see India as threat
Updated: 2006-03-03 20:25
But a public show of solidarity for the Pakistani leader, who has survived
repeated assassination attempts in part because of his support for the U.S. war
on terror, was likely to take center stage.
Bush aides said officials were satisfied adequate security precautions were
in place, though, as national security adviser Stephen Hadley acknowledged:
"this is not a risk-free undertaking."
In Hyderabad, Bush met with young entrepreneurs at a business school, and
visited an agricultural college that is researching biotechnology and ways to
increase yields and output. Roughly 65 percent of India's population of 1
billion makes its living off agriculture, but the nation's farm sector is
lagging behind its expanding information technology and service industries.
Bush mingled in a hot, sunny field at Acharya N.G. Ranga Agricultural
University with Indians using sticks and tools to hand-till soil around young
peanut, tomato and soybean plants.
In another part of the city that Bush didn't see, black flags flew above
buildings in the predominantly Muslim Charminar quarter, where shops were closed
in protest. Several hundred communist and Muslim demonstrators, chanting "Bush
hands off India" and "Bush go home," carried posters of Osama bin Laden and
burned an effigy of the president.
"We are protesting against George Bush because he is a warmonger," said B.V.
Raghavulu, a leader of the Communist Party of India (Marxist).
The Hyderabad Bush saw was a virtual ghost town, locked down along his
motorcade routes for security.