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Rajnath Singh to visit US for Afghan conclave

Last Updated: Wednesday, July 17, 2013 - 23:32

Washington: BJP President Rajnath Singh will visit the US this week to present his party`s view on the situation in Afghanistan at a conference besides meeting a host of lawmakers, think tanks and noted Indian Americans. On a maiden week-long visit to the country in his capacity as the president of the main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party, Singh will arrive here on July 20 and is scheduled to spend most of his time in Washington from July 21 to July 25.

In addition to meeting the American business community, where he would elaborate his party`s economic policies, all eyes would be on the key note address on "India, Afghanistan and Regional Security" which Singh is scheduled to address at a conference on Afghanistan on July 23 at Capitol Hill here organised by the Foundation for India and Indian Diaspora Studies (FIIDS-USA).

The conference at the historic Rayburn House Building of the US Capitol, would also be addressed among others by former foreign secretary Kanwal Sibal and Ajit Doval, former director of Intelligence Bureau.

Organisers of the conference have also roped in Mehran Baloch, a rebel Baloch leader and Senge Serin, president of the Institute of Gilgit Baltistan Studies, to give their perspectives on Pakistan and Afghanistan in the context of recent developments.

"The conference aims to engage communities to discuss factors affecting security, stability and prosperity in Afghanistan and the surrounding region," FIIDS-USA said in a statement.

"The sessions will focus on critical dimensions of a balanced and unified strategy that can lead to Afghanistan`s stable and secure development," it added.

While in New York, Singh is scheduled to address the Indian American community at an event organised by TV Asia channel.
He would leave for India from New York on July 26. Though no meetings with US government officials have been scheduled so far, Singh`s trip to US comes immediately after high profile visits of Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram, Union Commerce Minister Anand Sharma and Deputy Chairman of Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia.
Their meetings in Washington along with their participation at the US India Business Council last week reflected a growing disenchantment among US industry, lawmakers and the executive branch over the stagnating Indo-US bilateral relationship.


First Published: Wednesday, July 17, 2013 - 23:32

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