Indian American groups to brief lawmakers on Pakistan

December 31st, 2008 - 11:42 am ICT by IANS  

Barack ObamaWashington, Dec 31 (IANS) Major Indian American organisations have formed a nationwide task force aimed at raising the awareness and implication of continuing terrorist activity emanating out of Pakistan among members of the US Congress.Formed to come up with the community’s response and formulate an action plan in the aftermath of the Nov 26 Mumbai terrorist attacks, the task force has prepared a briefing paper specifically meant for US lawmakers and the administration.

The task force has asked influential Indian Americans to set up meetings with members of the US House of Representative and Senators or their aides at the district/constituency level or in Washington to brief them before the US Congress begins its new session next Tuesday.

With Mukesh Advani and Ram Narayanan of US-India Friendship working as coordinators, the group in a model letter to the lawmakers says the goal of the task force is to raise the awareness and implication of continuing terrorist activity emanating out of Pakistan among members of the US Congress.

“As a community, we want to articulate our perspective and concerns to the incoming administration as well as the legislature, where we hope you will get a chance to meet a larger cross-section of our community from different parts of the country,” it says.

The letter describes the proposed meetings as a real opportunity for the lawmakers “to get more engaged with the Indian American community, while affording us as a larger whole an opportunity to build a deeper relationship and understanding with you”.

The task force itself is arranging to meet the transition team of President-elect Barack Obama some time early in January; and Senators and members of the House of Representatives in Washington Jan 27.

The group is trying to assemble Indian Americans from all over the US for the Washington meetings on Jan 27 followed by a reception in the evening where it plans to invite as many lawmakers as possible.

Major organisations represented on the task force include Asian American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA), Association of Indians in America (AIA), Indian American Friendship Forum (IAFF), Indian American Forum for Political Education (IAFPE), Indian American Political Action Committee (IAPAC), National Federation of Indian American Associations (NFIA) and US India Political Action Committee (USINPAC).

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

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