Republican Party term India a key partner of US

Republican Party has called for strengthening the working relationship and a renewal of "historic ties" between Indian and US.

Washington: Terming India a geopolitical ally and strategic trading partner of the US, the Republican Party has called for strengthening the working relationship and a renewal of "historic ties" between the two countries.

"We welcome a stronger relationship with the world`s largest democracy, India, both economic and cultural, as well as in terms of national security. We hereby affirm and declare that India is our geopolitical ally and a strategic trading partner," declared the party`s platform adopted by the Republican national convention that began in Tampa yesterday.

The party also stressed at "encouraging" New Delhi for "permitting" greater foreign investment and trade and urged for "protection" for adherents of all India`s religions.

It also lauded the contribution made by US citizens of Indian ancestry in development of the country.

Noting that the aftermath of last decade`s conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan has put "enormous pressure" on the political and military infrastructure of Pakistan, which continues to face "internal" and "external" threats of terrorism, the party, during the convention, stressed for a stronger working relationship between the US and India.

On the issue of withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan, the party platform said future decisions by a Republican President will never subordinate military necessity to domestic politics or an artificial timetable.

It also found that withdrawal of around 30,000 "surge" troops sent to the war-torn nation two years back, which comes weeks before this year`s presidential polls, is against the advice of top military commanders of the President.

"Afghans, Pakistanis, and Americans have a common interest in ridding the region of Taliban and other insurgent groups, but we cannot expect others to remain resolute unless we show the same determination ourselves," it said.

"We will expect the Afghan government to crackdown on corruption, respect free elections, and assist our fight against the narcotic trade that fuels the insurgency," the party said, asserting that it expects similar move from Pakistan by severing any "connection" between its security and intelligence forces and the insurgents.

"No Pakistani citizen should be punished for helping the US against the terrorists," the platform said.

Welcoming the emergence of a peaceful and prosperous China, platform said the US will welcome even more the development of a democratic China.

"Its rulers have discovered that economic freedom leads to national wealth. The next lesson is that political and religious freedom leads to national greatness," it said.

"The exposure of the Chinese people to our way of life can be the greatest force for change in their country. We should make it easier for the people of China to experience our vibrant democracy and to see for themselves how freedom works," it said, welcoming the increase in trade and education alliances between the two countries and the opening up of Chinese markets to American companies.

The party platform, however, criticised Chinese policy over a range of issues including Beijing`s "pursui"t of advanced military capabilities, its stand on Tibet and Xinjiang and the "suppression" of human rights there, and the "barbaric" one child policy.

It also accused China of being involved in "religious persecution" and "eroding" the roots of democracy in China, and slammed Beijing for its "destabilising" claims in the South China Sea.

"Our serious trade disputes, especially China`s failure to enforce international standards for the protection of intellectual property and copyrights, as well as its manipulation of its currency, call for a firm response from a new Republican Administration," the platform said.