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Dan Burton withdraws anti-India amendment

WASHINGTON, AUG 3: Anti-India Republican Congressman Dan Burton withdrew his amendment seeking to cut US aid to New Delhi by 11 million d...

WASHINGTON, AUG 3: Anti-India Republican Congressman Dan Burton withdrew his amendment seeking to cut US aid to New Delhi by 11 million dollars under pressure from members of the House of Representatives who described India as Washington’s “staunch ally” and the “only truly democratic country in the sub-continent”.

The amendment seeking a 25 per cent cut in the President’s request of 44.7 million dollars for the year 2000 was withdrawn Monday night after Burton acknowledged that he would not get the “unanimous consent to change the language of the amendment to express his intent”.

Burton who had earlier filed three anti-India amendments to the Foreign Operations Appropriations Bill to castigate New Delhi especially for its alleged human rights violation in Kashmir, chose to offer only one which was opposed by all the members barring two in the house on Monday.

Democratic Congressman Frank Pallone who had urged the members earlier to reject the anti-India amendment said, “India, the world’slargest democracy, is increasingly important to us as a trading partner and strategic partner. India has what billions of people round the world yearned for: a secular, stable political system like that of the US, based on universal freedoms.

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The former co-chairman of the Congressional Caucus on India and Indian Americans said, “The human rights problem in Kashmir is that there is a violent separatist movement there supported by Pakistan and carried out by followers of Osama Bin Laden and other extremists and terrorists who destroy homes and lives of thousands of peace-loving Hindus and Muslims in Kashmir”.

Opposing the amendment, chairman of the international relations committee, Republican Benjamin Gilman said that India is living in “a tough neighbourhood,” with China occupying a part of Indian territory in the north and giving nuclear and missile aid to Pakistan in the west and selling over a billion dollars worth of weapons to a dictatorship in Myanmar in the east. India, he said, “is the onlytruly democratic nation in the subcontinent”.

First published on: 04-08-1999 at 12:00:00 am
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