|Rediff India Abroad Home | All the sections|
Embrace India, Pressler to Bush
January 28, 2003 10:37 IST
Former senator Larry Pressler on Monday urged the United States to give up its policy of balancing India and Pakistan.
"America must decidedly change its India-Pakistan policy, in particular, to side with democracy and human rights. We should then invite strategically located India to join us at the foreign policy altar," The Washington Times quoted him as saying.
Beginning with a visit to New Delhi, President Bush should acknowledge India as 'America's foremost friend in this corner of the world', he said.
Forming a free trade zone with India -- an arrangement similar to the North American Free Trade Agreement or the free trade zones in Africa or Israel -- should follow, he added.
"The US must also reduce military aid to Pakistan and demand that Pakistan stop terrorist activities against India," he said.
"Embracing India... could perhaps push China towards democracy and a new respect for human rights. A political alliance with India, in addition to a synergetic economic relationship, would stimulate trade and boost America's economy. And in the war on terrorism, this new partnership would prove America values a country that treats its Muslim minority well," Pressler said.
"It is time for Bush to embrace India as a key ally, democratic torchbearer and trading partner for the sake of security in a post-war world," he added.