Six US leaders come out in support of India’s initiative in Jammu and Kashmir

indica News Bureau-

Supporting India’s initiative in Jammu and Kashmir, as many as six US Congressmen spoke on the floor of the House, reflecting strong support to India’s moves to curb cross-border terrorism by counter-terror initiatives. Slowly and gradually, the congressmen have stood up for the initiative based on their experiences of experiencing the repercussions of cross-border terrorism and its effect on people. By January 11, six such leaders had  joined in the support, each issuing a statement in the House from October to December 2019. 

Congressman Scott Perry of Republican Pennsylvania said, “I stand with India in their aspiration to provide equal economic, social, and political opportunities to all citizens. As part of this pursuit, two-thirds of the Indian Parliament voted last year to change the status stability now provided by government will give residents of Jammu and Kashmir a better way forward and hope for the future”, he said. 

Perry added, “I rise today to recognize the strong relationship between the United States and India. Since our two countries established diplomatic relations in 1946 through the 2005 launch of our strategic partnership, the United States and India have had a long and storied history. I thank Ambassador Shringla for his friendship and his deep commitment to maintaining our strong US-India alliance. I wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors…” 

Perry who serves on two important House Committees – Foreign Affairs and Transportation & Infrastructure is a four-term Republican Congressman from Pennsylvania. 

Being a part of the Foreign Affairs sub-Committee of Asia and the Pacific, he understands the harms of state-sponsored terrorism and what ill effects it has on the other country. He had also condemned the attack on Pulwama last year and had introduced House Resolution 261 in May 2019. 

“Pakistan has a long history of harboring terrorists and terrorist sympathizers, despite continued American efforts to root out bad actors in the region. Actively choosing lax enforcement has cost innocent lives and emboldens radicals to perpetuate similar attacks. Enough is enough; now’s the time to hold the Pakistani government accountable”, he had said then. 

Congressman Francis Rooney, member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, made a statement “recognizing the critical US-India relationship” on 20 November 2019. He won his last election from Florida’s 19th district by a whooping majority. He is a 2ndterm Republican Congressman and in his first term, he was Vice-Chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee (HFAC). Currently, he is Ranking Member of the Western elsewhere in India. “We should support the government in Delhi in the continued fight against terror”, said Rooney. 

Congressman Joe Wilson of South Carolina who also came out in support of India’s initiative said, “….the Indian Parliament, with multiparty support, voided the constitutional autonomy of Kashmir, supporting the Prime Minister’s efforts to boost economic development, fight corruption, and end gender, caste and religious discrimination.” He is a House Foreign Affairs Committee. 

Congressman Wilson’s perspective is informed by virtue of being Ranking Member of the Middle East, North Africa, and International Terrorism Subcommittee of HFAC. 

Congressman Pete Olson (Republican-Texas) has been a staunch friend of India. He made a strong statement on the House floor on 20 November 2019 stating, “Earlier this year, the Indian parliament confirmed that Article 370’s temporary status should end. It ended. It gave the people of Jammu-Kashmir the same rights as all Indians. It was a landslide: 125 to 61 in the Rajya Sabha and 370 to 70 in the Lok Sabha. This action creates equality for all Indians.” Olson’s affinity for India dates back to the time when he was Chief of Staff to Senator John Cornyn (Republican-Texas), co-founder of the Senate India Caucus. 

Paul Gosar, a 5th-term Republican Congressman from Arizona, said on December 23, “Prime Minister Modi has made it clear that this change was necessary to facilitate peace and economic prosperity. I applaud Prime Minister Modi and the Parliament for their leadership on ensuring the stability of Jammu-Kashmir. Madam Speaker, I would also like to commend the Trump Administration’s continued work with Prime Minister Modi to ensure peace within the region.”

Congressman George Holding (Republican-North Carolina), co-Chair of the House India Caucus and Member of the important House Ways and Means Committee that holds the purse strings of the government, was the first to issue a statement in our support on 31 October 2019. He said, “Article 370 might have worked well for those with political connections, but it denied economic opportunities for the people. It also created a polarizing environment that was exploited politically.” He said further, “The Modi Government had to make a decision on whether to continue with the old policy or to pursue progress by changing the region’s legal status”.