January 2002 News

J&K violence not freedom struggle: US team tells Pak

9 January 2002
The Indian Express

Bangalore: A majority of US citizens were unaware of India''s prolonged fight against terrorism till the September 11 terror strikes in the US, Congresswoman of the US House of Representatives, Shelley Berkley, said on Wednesday. It would not be more than a handful of people in her constituency in the urban hub of the metropolitan Las Vegas area who were aware that 61,000 people were killed in terrorist attacks in India in the last 20 years, she said. Berkley was responding to a question at the CII-organised partnership summit in Bangalore as to why there were calls by the US of restraint to India against Pakistan when the US-led global coalition itself attacked Afghanistan after the terror strikes. ''Until September 11, people (in the US) were insensitive to what you were going through'', Berkley, who is part of the 140-member India Caucus, said. She said there is nervousness and concern in all sections of India regarding the United States'' new found alliance and relationship with Pakistan, but said US'' ties with democratic countries like India have not been given a go-by. ''We are reaching out to our democratic allies'', she said. The US, she said, makes a clear distinction between its traditional democratic allies and those who ''shift loyalties in moments of convenience (Pakistan)''. Berkley asserted that terrorism in the name of ''freedom struggle'' in Kashmir as well as Pakistan''s policy on Kashmir are ''not acceptable'' to the US, adding, President George W Bush has given a message to Pakistan that terrorism on its soil cannot be tolerated.


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