RESOLUTION CALLING FOR
WASHINGTON - A resolution calling for closer ties between the United States and India passed the House today by voice vote. The resolution was authored by U.S. Rep. Benjamin A. Gilman (20th-NY), Chairman of the House International Relations Committee.
Tomorrow, Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee will address a joint session of Congress as part of an official state visit to Washington. Vajpayee's trip to Washington is the first by an Indian prime minister in six years.
The Gilman resolution (H. Res. 572) calls for bi lateral cooperation in the fight against terrorism and the broadening the on-going dialogue between the United States and India, in which the upcoming Vajpayee visit is seen as a significant step.
"Both of our governments are dedicated to the protection of the rule of law, democracy and freedom of religion. Our citizens' share a fervent faith in these core values. It is also why India and the United States see eye-to-eye on so many regional concerns," said Gilman upon introducing the measure.
According to Gilman, China's hegemonic ambitions, Islamic terrorism spilling out of Afghanistan and Pakistan, the narco-dictatorship in Burma, and China's illegal occupation of Tibet, are serious concerns to both the United States and India. Last summer, Islamic terrorists gunned down some 101 Hindu pilgrims in Kashmir. The massacre came only two weeks after the largest militant Kashmiri group, Hezbul Mujahadeen, called for a ceasefire. The killings were apparently done to sabotage any attempt to peacefully broker a settlement to the Kashmir crises.
"Such malicious, extraordinary violence reinforces my conviction that India and the United States must develop a closer military and intelligence relationship. A special relationship is needed so that we can share our knowledge and skills in order to successfully confront our mutual enemies who wish to destroy the basic principles of our societies," stated Gilman.
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