1st letter 4-26

Kashmiri villagers stand next to the remains of a house destroyed during a deadly gun battle between militants and Indian government forces in the Pinglish area of Tral, in Pulwama district south of Srinagar, on March 11. (Tauseef Mustafa/AFP/Getty Images)

Pakistan sponsored Jaish-e-Mohammed, a terrorist organization, killed 41 Indian military police in February. Immediately upon hearing the news, a chain of successive events took place in Washington, D.C. The Secretary of State and the National Security Adviser issued statements of strongest support to India. This was followed by discussion in the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives. All important and leading senators and congressmen/women condemned Pakistan and extended political support to India. The chief of the U.S. Central Command, General Joseph Votel, told Congress and offered support to India. The U.S. has recommended that India must get rid of Jaish-e-Mohammed and Lakshar-e-Taiba through surgical strikes. It is implied that once India decides, both the U.S. and India would jointly formulate a military strategy and execute it. Indian Ambassador Shringla said: “The designation of India as a Major Defense Partner was also codified into law by the U.S. Congress in the National Defense Authorization Act of 2017, thanks to the unstinting support of the members of the India Caucus.”

President Trump has been demanding Pakistan to dismantle all terror cells and organizations inside Pakistan. He is the first U.S. president to cancel military aid to Pakistan. Prime Minister Imran Khan of Pakistan has been wanting to meet President Trump to seek support for loans from the IMF. President Trump has told him that unless he gets rid of all terror outfits and terrorists from Pakistan, he would not support Pakistan’s request.

Pakistan was defeated by India in three conventional wars. India defeated Pakistan in its third war and Pakistan lost East Pakistan. Since then, Pakistan has been using the homegrown terrorist organizations, such as Jaish-e-Mohammed, Lakshar-e-Taiba, and others, as proxy to fight India. This resulted in attacks on the Indian Parliament, Mumbai suburban trains, New Delhi shopping mall, and the city of Mumbai that killed 165 Indians and foreigners.

India’s new Ambassador to the U.S. Harsh Vardhan Shringla, after presenting his credentials to President Trump, was given the most enthusiastic reception at Capitol Hill. This was attended by more senators and congressmen/women than ever before. The grand reception given to Ambassador Shringla is a reflection of India-U.S. relations, now branded as “closest ally.” The chain of events in Washington after Pakistan’s attack in Kashmir reinforces President Trump’s new policy towards South Asia. India should be pleased because the “closest ally” status has bipartisan support.

Ven Parameswaran

Scarsdale, New York

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