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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.
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