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'PM not a mere politician but a statesman'

Aziz Haniffa in Washington, DC | July 24, 2008 10:29 IST

The Indian American Republican Council has said that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh [Images] is not a mere politician but a statesman for having the courage to risk his government's survival for the sake of the future of India.

The IARC also said that the credit for the passage of the enabling legislation known as the Hyde Act should go not to the Indian American community but to President George Bush [Images] and his Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice [Images].

According to the IARC, "While many credit the Indian American community for passage of the civilian nuclear agreement by the US Congress, the real credit goes to President Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice."

"Rice is graceful, determined and the consummate diplomat, and it was her skilful negotiations supported by our own President that ensured passage by Congress," it said.

In showering kudos on Prime Minister Singh, the IARC said he "could have concluded that domestic opposition prevented him from moving forward on the agreement. However, the visionary leader of India's reforms in the early 1990s, he knew our future bilateral relations were at stake."

"He knew that those opposing the agreement either subscribed to an outdated political ideology left over from the Cold War or simply opposed the agreement for purely political purposes."

The IARC argued that Dr Singh had "risked his own government for his country's future, indicating he is not an ordinary politician, but an extraordinary statesman. We commend,Mr Singh, a true gentleman, who always conducts himself with dignity, for his leadership on this issue."

It said that "we are now one step closer to cementing a permanent change in US-India relations," and predicted that "history will look back kindly on President Bush and Prime Minister Singh as world leaders with the courage to move the United States and India toward a successful partnership."

The US-India Political Action Committee also in hailing Dr Singh's victory in the confidence vote said, "As this is a truly historic accord, so too this is a historic victory for the government of Prime Minister Singh and all Indians."

Sanjay Puri, chairman of USINPAC, which raises funds for US lawmakers to influence them to be responsive to the concerns and issue of India and Indian Americans, said, "This agreement benefits both countries at several levels -- strategically, politically, and economically and it will usher in a new positive era of broadened and deepened cooperation between the oldest and largest democracies."

He pledged to 'rally the Indian American community and engage all like-minded allies to ensure this deal gets included in the US Congressional calendar for this year', and that USINPAC 'looks forward to the day that this important milestone in US-India relations is finalized'.

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