Republicans declare India geopolitical ally

August 29th, 2012 - 11:34 am ICT by IANS  

Barack Obama Washington, Aug 29 (IANS) As Mitt Romney officially clinched the Republican presidential nomination, the party declared India a “geopolitical ally and a strategic trading partner”, much like the current occupant of the White House, Democrat Barack Obama.

Indicating the bipartisan support that US-India relationship enjoys, the party platform released Tuesday at its national convention in Tampa, Florida, said: “We welcome a stronger relationship with the world’s largest democracy, India, both economic and cultural, as well as in terms of national security.”

As it affirmed and declared “that India is our geopolitical ally and a strategic trading partner”, it also encouraged “India to permit greater foreign investment and trade” and urged “protection for adherents of all India’s religions”.

Recognising the growing political clout of the three million strong Indian-American community, the platform took note with pride “both as Republicans and as Americans, the contributions to this country that are being made by our fellow citizens of Indian ancestry”.

Turning to other nations in South Asia, the Republican platform noted “the aftermath of the last decade’s conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan has put enormous pressure on the political and military infrastructure of Pakistan, which faces both internal terrorism and external dangers”.

Seeking to repair the often tense ties with the key ally, it said: “The working relationship between our two countries is a necessary, though sometimes difficult, benefit to both, and we look toward the renewal of historic ties that have frayed under the weight of international conflict.”

At the same time, the platform said the US should “expect the Pakistan government to sever any connection between its security and intelligence forces and the insurgents”.

“No Pakistani citizen should be punished for helping the United States against the terrorists,” it added in a reference to a Pakistani doctor, who helped the US track down slain Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden to his Abbottabad hideout.

Criticising Obama’s decision to withdraw 30,000 “surge” troops from Afghanistan, it said: “Future decisions by a Republican president will never subordinate military necessity to domestic politics or an artificial timetable.”

Under a Republican presidency the US will welcome “the emergence of a peaceful and prosperous China”, and “even more the development of a democratic China”, it said suggesting China’s “rulers have discovered that economic freedom leads to national wealth”.

(Arun Kumar can be contacted at arun.kumar@ians.in)

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