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|July 3, 1998||
Two senators ask US to soften sanctionsC K Arora in Washington
Republican senator Sam Brownback and Democratic senator Charles S Robb, who returned from a trip to South Asia earlier this week, are convinced about the need to modify the US law under which the Bill Clinton administration has imposed economic sanctions on India and Pakistan in protest against their nuclear tests.
Senator Brownback was quoted in today's Washington Post as saying said that the sanctions, which in combination with other moves by the United States and its allies, had virtually shut off access to international financing for India and Pakistan. They ''hurt Pakistan much more than India, and Pakistan is much less culpable'' because India tested first, he said.
He said Pakistan ''wants to be a strong ally of the United States and we're pushing them away, we've got to provide the president with some waiver authority.''
''Robb is more sympathetic to India,'' Democratic staff aides said, but ''generally shares Mr Brownback's view that some modification of the sanctions would increase US diplomatic flexibility in trying to persuade the South Asian rivals not to escalate tensions further''.
In another development, Republican senator Slade Gorton had said in a radio appearance that he and senator Pat Roberts (also Republican) ''will do everything we can at an early time in the senate to end the India and Pakistan embargoes. We will do everythhing we can to end these absurd sanctions.''
Meanwhile, negotiations are under way among key members of the senate on a measure that would soften the impact of mandatory economic sanctions.
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