Hindu Vivek Kendra
«« Back
Terrorism, Pakistan will not hijack India-U.S. relations: Vajpayee

Terrorism, Pakistan will not hijack India-U.S. relations: Vajpayee

Author: Indo-Asian News Service
Publication: Yahoo News
Date: September 13, 2002
URL: http://in.news.yahoo.com/020913/43/1v6p7.html

Terrorism and Pakistan will not be allowed to "hijack" relations between India and the U.S., visiting Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee told a delegation of American Jews that called on him here.

His comment followed an appeal from the 21-member group that Washington and New Delhi join forces with the Israeli government, especially to fight terrorism.

The organisations that met Vajpayee at the New York Palace Hotel Thursday were B'nai B'rith International, the American Jewish Committee, the Jewish Institute of National Security Affairs and the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee.

The Indian prime minister is in New York for the ongoing U.N. General Assembly session and to hold bilateral talks with world leaders.

He told the group that the war on terrorism would succeed only if the infrastructure of terrorism was dismantled and terrorists' safe havens in Pakistan dealt with, said external affairs ministry spokesperson Nirupama Rao.

When the Jewish leaders asked whether India is troubled by the "equivalence" that is seen in some quarters of the U.S. in judging about India-Pakistan relations, Vajpayee responded by saying that India and the U.S. are the world's largest democracies and cannot allow Pakistan to come in between, said Rao.

The sectarian violence in Gujarat this year was also a topic at the discussion.

Vajpayee said a lot of misunderstanding had been spread about Gujarat. He said there was a history of tolerance and culture in the state and many great leaders of India's freedom struggle, including Mahatma Gandhi, hailed from there.

Vajpayee called the attacks an aberration. He promised that everything was under control and normal now and told the group: "You may come and visit if you want."

Rao said the prime minister had thanked the Jewish community for the support he received from them for the promotion of India-Israel relations. He also said India was the only country where there had been no anti- Semitism.

The exchange of views was extremely interesting and covered a vast range of subjects, said spokesperson Rao, adding that there were around 60,000 Jews of Indian origin in Israel who still retained their cultural ties with India.

After the meeting, David J. Harris, executive director of the American Jewish Committee, told IANS: "The main issues discussed were the ties between India and the U.S. and the meeting of Vajpayee with President George W. Bush.

"We also spoke about the blossoming of relations between India and Israel. We dwelt on the common thread of terrorism that the democracies of India, Israel and the U.S. face. We spoke about the intensifying cooperation in the U.S. between the Indian American community and the American Jewish community."

Vajpayee reportedly expressed a desire for enhanced cooperation between American Jews and Indian Americans and indicated that the Indian American community in the U.S. is relatively new and has much to learn from the Jewish community here.

Cheryl Halpern, the chair of the advisory council of B'nai B'rith International, said: "We spoke about the need to promote better understanding between the Indian community in the U.S. and the Jewish community.

"There should be much greater integration between us -- because we are so similar. The pillars of our communities reflect faith, family and generosity."

During the talks, Vajpayee also spoke of his friendship with Israel and said that even when he was a member of the opposition, he was in favour of relations between India and Israel "at a time when there were no relations" between them.

Back                          Top

«« Back
  Search Articles
  Special Annoucements