Washington: India is the brightest light
in the South Asian constellation and as the world`s largest
democracy the country is a natural partner for the United
States, a top American lawmaker has said.
"The brightest light in South Asia`s constellation and
the strategic centre of gravity for the region is India, which
has been on a sustained path toward economic and political
empowerment," Congressman Gary Ackerman said during a
Congressional hearing on South Asia on Tuesday.
"As the world`s largest democracy India is a natural
partner for the United States, and I`m delighted by the way
that our relations have blossomed ever since the Clinton
administration," he said, but added that America`s relations
with India are still too narrow and still too shallow.
He said outdated rules, regulations and laws are
limiting the attractiveness and accessibility of India as a
destination for business and investment and the country is a
good market for American defence equipments.
"On the defence and security side, things are going
well between our two defence establishments, and I have high
hopes that they will go much further still. America makes the
best defensive equipment in the world and India`s security
requirements are very, very real," he said.
But, he said, "the United States has failed India in
that we have not used our diplomatic leadership and agenda to
setting capability to focus global attention to the threat to
India from Pakistan-based terrorists, such as Lashkar-e-Toiba,
that continue to raise money from all over the world," he
"If there is, God forbid, another Mumbai-like strike,
we will not be able to say that we did our utmost to prevent
it because in truth, we haven`t. The ambitions of these
terrorists have only grown and a full-fledged global
campaign to crush these thugs still awaits at our peril,"