Pakistan’s support base in the US is fast dwindling as American lawmakers are unhappy over Islamabad’s reluctance to take action against some terror groups and its continuance of providing safe havens to them, a group of Indian parliamentarians has said.
“One thing came across very clearly from across the spectrum that they (Americans) are very unhappy with Pakistan. They are very concerned about…Americans lives at stake (in Afghanistan), the kind of promises that have been broken,” Baijayant Jay Panda of the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) told reporters.
Panda, who is leading a seven-member delegation of Parliamentarians as part of Indo-US Forum of Parliamentarians (IUFP) organised by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industries (FICCI), said the sense he and his colleagues got from these meetings that the support for Pakistan in the US has come down considerably in the last few years.
As a result, Panda said there is greater sensitivity and recognition of India’s constructive and developmental role in Afghanistan.
“This was not the case earlier. We can see that some of the (American) attitude (towards India’s role in Afghanistan) is changing. They are much happier today about continuing and increasing India’s investment in Afghanistan. The Americans used to be sensitive to Pakistan pressure until a year or two ago,” he said.
“The world knows the cross border terrorism that we face….this is connected to the Kashmir issue. In some of the discussions the issue came up about the violence of Kashmir and the concern, but it was the overall general concern about the rise of violence which we ourselves are concerned. We are tackling it,” he said.
Other members of the delegation are Anurag Thakur and Harish Chandra Meena from the BJP, Neeraj Shekhar from Samajwadi Party, Jayadev Galla from Telugu Desam Party and Rajeev Satav and Sushmita Dev from Indian National Congress.
During their stay here, the Indian MPs have had a series of meetings with top American lawmakers, officials of Obama Administration and top think-tanks.
Bilateral relationship between India and the US has transformed completely in the last decade and a half, he said, adding that it has bipartisan support in both the countries.