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December 20, 2001
1045 IST

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US Congressmen defend
India's right to retaliate

As many as sixty members of the US Congress have condemned the attack on the Indian Parliament and defended India's right to protect itself from acts of terrorism.

"We are writing to express our profound shock and sadness over the terrorist attack on Parliament in New Delhi. We strongly support President Bush's decision to offer your government the assistance of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and of the State Department counter-terrorist teams in order to bring to justice those individuals responsible for this terrorist attack," they said in a letter to Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

"Following the terrorist attacks of September 11, we in Congress have become acutely aware of the increasing threats we face in our seat of democracy, yet we are more determined than ever not to be intimidated by terrorism," the letter said.

The Congressmen also supported India's right to defend itself against acts of terrorism and aggression that threatens its security.

The strategic cooperation between the US and India in the area of counter-terrorism, the letter said, was based on shared democratic values and mutual desire to build a stable and prosperous world free of terrorism.

"The terrorists who attacked the US and India targeted democracies that respect the rule of law, because they detest the freedoms we protect, and mistake our tolerance as a sign of weakness. As the architects of terrorism have already learned, the resolve of the civilised world will only be strengthened by our pursuit of justice in the face of their lawlessness." they said.

PTI

Complete Coverage: The Attack on Parliament

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