Rumsfeld arrives in India
DELHI, Dec 8: In his first major foreign trip after the re-election
of President George Bush, US Secretary of Defence Donald Rumsfeld
arrived here on Wednesday for talks with top Indian leadership,
during which New Delhi is likely to express concern over resumption
of arms supplies to Pakistan. Though on top of Rumsfeld's agenda
would be measures to enhance defence and security co-operation between
the two countries, India has made it clear that supply of arms to
Pakistan when Indo-Pak dialogue is at a sensitive stage, would have
a negative impact.
tight schedule on Thursday includes one-to-one talks with Defence
Minister Pranab Mukherjee and a meeting with External Affairs Minister
K Natwar Singh. He may also call on the Prime Minister Manmohan
Singh. "We have conveyed that US arms supplies to Pakistan
would also have a negative impact on the goodwill the US in India,
particularly as a sister democracy," Singh said in Parliament
on the possible supply of F-16 aircraft to Pakistan, the Minister
said Washington had conveyed that no decision had been taken and
none was imminent. US has evinced keen interest and held negotiations
on sale of Maritime Spy Plane P3C Orion's as well Hercules C130
giant transport aircrafts to India. The two sides are also close
to firming up an agreement on US help in case of Indian Naval Submarines
being in distress in high seas.
for strong relationship with India
Dec 3: The US has transformed ties with New Delhi on the conviction
that American interests require a strong relationship with India
and differences could be best addressed by a partnership, an
official document has said. The two countries are the largest
democracies, committed to political freedom protected by representative
government. India is also moving towards greater economic freedom.
They also share an interest in fighting terrorism and in creating
a strategically stable Asia, it said.
remain, including over India's nuclear weapons programmes and
over the pace of India's economic reforms. But while in the
past, these concerns may have dominated US thinking about India,
today the US starts with a view of India as a growing world
power with which it shares common strategic interests,"
the US State Department said in its profile of India, just updated.
September 2001, President (George W) Bush lifted the sanctions
that were imposed under the terms of the 1994 Nuclear Proliferation
Prevention Act following India's nuclear tests in May 1998.
The non-proliferation dialogue initiated after the 1998 nuclear
tests has bridged many of the gaps in understanding between
Bush met (then Prime Minister Atal Bihari) Vajpayee in November
2001, and the two leaders expressed a strong interest in transforming
the US-India bilateral relationship. High-level meetings and
concrete cooperation between the two countries increased during
2002 and 2003."
The US and India announced on January 12, 2004, the Next Steps
in Strategic Partnership (NSSP), a milestone in transformation
of the bilateral relationship and a blueprint for its further
progress, it said.
ties set to grow under Rice's stewardship
DELHI, Nov 17: Indo-US ties are expected to get further impetus
under Condoleeza Rice who has succeeded Colin Powell as the Secretary
of State. A close confidant of US President George Bush, Rice
as National Security Adviser had established good equations with
Security Adviser J N Dixit held parleys with her soon after Prime
Minister Manmohan Singh's first meeting with Bush in New York
in September on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly session.
Dixit's predecessor Brajesh Mishra has had a series of meetings
would carry forward the policies of Bush who has expressed his
personal commitment for strong ties with India. This was evident
when the White House spokesman Scott McClellan on Monday stressed
that there will be no looking back on ties with India. He said
that the White House does not expect any policy changes towards
New Delhi after the exit of Secretary of State Colin Powell, who
was "instrumental" in helping to address the situation
between India and Pakistan.
certainly have a strong relationship with India and we will continue
to build on that relationship with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh
as we move forward," said the spokesman. Powell, who resigned
from his post after serving President Bush in his first term in
office, has been "working to resolve regional conflicts,
such as in India and Liberia and Haiti and other places as well,"
that that he expects no policy changes as a result of Powell's
departure, McClellan noted that "the agenda is set by President
of the United States and he is the one who sets the policy, and
the Cabinet is there to help the President implement the agenda
and the policy decisions that he makes."
said "Secretary Powell has been instrumental in helping to
address the situation between India, Pakistan and the Kashmir
region. And we will continue to work on those efforts and encourage
dialogue between the parties. There has been some good progress
made in that respect."
He said Powell has been "working to address conflicts across
the world, whether they are in Afghanistan and Iraq or elsewhere...
He has also been instrumental in working to advance the Broader
Middle East Initiative."
came to a decision that now is the time for him to resign and
move on with other things in life," McCllan said. Rice, who
turned 50 on Sunday, has been Bush's most trusted adviser on national
security and foreign policy matters. Unlike Powell, who had a
tough time battling hardliners like Vice-President Dick Cheney
and Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, Rice is expected to have
believe that Rice, as secretary of state, will continue to promote
the President's views rather than her own. They consider her to
be a pragmatist rather than an ideologue. A staunch supporter
of Bush's decision to invade Iraq, Rice has fiercely defended
the controversial policy that came in for widespread criticism
at home and abroad.
have indicated that Rice's record on Iraq in terms of faulty intelligence
and poor post-war planning will be closely scrutinised during
the Senate confirmation hearing. Born during the waning years
of racial segregation in Alabama, Rice will only be the second
African-American (after Powell) and the second woman (after Clinton
nominee Madeleine Albright) to become the country's top diplomat.
She is an accomplished figure skater and a trained pianist.
recent weeks, political circles were abuzz with talk that Rice's
preference was either to return to the academic world (she has
been a provost and professor of political science at Stanford
University) or to run the Pentagon in case Rumsfeld planned to
Hadley is tipped to succeed Rice as National Security Advisor.
He has held a foreign policy post under Bush Sr. He has served
as Assistant Secretary of Defence for International Security Policy.
During that stint, he was responsible for defence policy towards
NATO and Western Europe, and on nuclear weapons and missile defence.
is a 'World Power': Kissinger
DELHI, Nov 6: The former US Secretary of State, Mr Henry Kissinger,
a critic of India during Cold War era, today eulogised the country
as a global power and backed its candidature for a permanent membership
of expanded UN Security Council. "I first saw India for the
first time in 1962. There is a change in India, physically and
in attitude," the veteran diplomat who worked with two US
Presidents as Secretary of State and National Security Adviser
told newsmen here.
who earlier addressed the Hindustan Times Leadership Initiative
Conference, recalled that Washington had sent its Naval flotilla
to Bay of Bengal during the 1971 Indo-Pak war because of "strategic
considerations" as it felt Pakistan's existence was threatened.
did what we were required to do in those circumstances. The US
had nothing to do with formation of Bangladesh," the then
Secretary of State said, adding "it was purely a strategic
decision for a short duration of time."
Nobel Peace Prize winner dispelled the impression that the US
had been comfortable with military dictatorships like in Pakistan
and asserted that Washington was "more comfortable with the
India as a "world power" and Pakistan as a "regional
player", he strongly advocated New Delhi's claim for permanent
membership of the UN Security Council, saying the present set-up
of the world body did not reflect the "actual distribution
confident of more substance in ties with US
DELHI: India on Thursday welcomed and congratulated the US President,
Mr George Bush, on his re-election and expressed confidence that
Indo-US ties would continue to gain in substance and dynamism
and global war against terrorism would also gain momentum. In
his message, the President, Dr A P J Abdul Kalam, congratulated
Bush on his re-election and expressed confidence that Indo-US
ties would continue to gain in substance and dynamism in the coming
behalf of the Government and the people of India, I express my
best wishes for further successes in your second term. We are
confident that under your strong leadership, our ties would continue
to gain in substance and dynamism," he said. Dr
Kalam said during your first term, relations between the
two countries had expanded significantly across a broad agenda.
Growing warmth between our people has added to steady convergence
of interests. Initiatives taken by your Administration, including
in high technology, have a strong resonace in my country,"
the President said.
Mr Bush, the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, invited the US
President to visit India, saying it would be a "milestone"
in bilateral ties. "I hope that we will have the opportunity
to welcome you in India very soon," he said in a letter to
Mr Bush. "My
good wishes as well as those of the government and the people
of India are with you as you prepare to lead your great nation,
drawing on a strong mandate, in the years ahead," said Dr
major goal of the two countries' policies, he said, "must
be to continue to deny any comfort or encouragement to religious
extremism or terrorism, and resolve to ensure their complete elimination
as an acceptable instrument of state policy. Dr
Singh said "we are confident that the United States and India
are on the same side in this effort".
also underlined the need for charting out an economic roadmap
that would be an integral element of broader relationship between
the two countries. Recalling his discussions with Bush in New
York in September that focused on the overriding priority of making
the future more secure, the Prime Minister said: "As partners
against terrorism and WMD proliferation, we will stand by the
United States in strengthening international peace and stability.
global war against terrorism and efforts to combat WMD proliferation
will benefit enormously from your steadfast resolve and leadership,"
he said. The
prime minister referred to the "successful" holding
of presidential elections in Afghanistan and said this was in
consonance with the vital interests of both India and the US.
Iraq, he said: "We all have a stake in the early return of
Iraq to the international mainstream as a democratic country.
India is ready to contribute to the electoral process early next
the return of the Bush administration is being seen positively
by both strategic and industry experts in India. In the last four
years, the growth in bilateral trade, a renewed interest in the
region, and declaration of India as a strategic partneris
seen as a promising foundation for improvement in Indo-US ties.
former foreign secretary and Indian Ambassador the US, Mr Lalit
Mansingh, said "Our bilateral trade has grown by 25 per cent
each year. Bush has met our Prime Ministers six times in three
National Association for Software and Service Companies (NASSCOM)
president, Mr Kiran Karnik, said "the US is a powerhouse
of the global economy and the Indian IT industry is delighted
in being a partner to US corporations, helping to make them more
the total Indian software exports, the outflow to US accounts
for 68 per cent and has been growing at around 30 per cent a year.
Karnik, in a statement, said that Bush's re-election would add
to the momentum of growth in the industry. "Bush's
track record during his presidential tenure has proven that he
is a proponent of free trade. We are confident that President
Bush will continue with his pro-trade stance during his second
term," he said.
findings of various research reports, Mr Karnik said the US economy
only stands to gain by off-shoring work, and job loss, if any,
due to outsourcing was very small. The NASSCOM chief also hoped
that the Bush administration would be supportive of visa issues,
enabling unhindered movement of IT professionals who he said play
a key role in contributing to the growth and development of the
US economy. He said "we are convinced that President Bush
will continue to work towards building an enhanced and comprehensive
trade relationship with India."
wins re-election as Kerry concedes
Nov 3: President Bush won four more years in the White House on
Wednesday, pocketing a quiet concession from Democrat John Kerry
that closed out a loud and long campaign fought over the war on
terror and the economy. "Congratulations, Mr. President,"
the Massachusetts senator said simply in a call that lasted less
than five minutes and followed Kerry's decision not to contest
Bush's lead in make-or-break Ohio.
The victory gave Bush a new term to pursue the war
in Iraq and a conservative, tax-cutting agenda - and probably
the chance to name one or more justices to an aging Supreme Court.
He also will preside alongside expanded Republican majorities
in Congress. The GOP gained four Senate seats and led for a fifth.
The party bolstered its majority in the House by at least two.
His re-election secure, Bush made a midafternoon
appearance before supporters in Washington. By pre-arrangement,
Kerry spoke first to a hometown crowd in Boston to conclude a
campaign that came achingly close to success.
Ohio's 20 electoral votes gave Bush 274 in the Associated
Press count, four more than the 270 needed for victory. Kerry
had 252 electoral votes, with Iowa (7) and New Mexico (5) unsettled.
Bush was winning 51 percent of the popular vote to 48 percent
for his rival. He led by more than 3 million ballots.
A Democratic source said Bush called Kerry a worthy, tough and
honorable opponent. Kerry told Bush the country was too divided,
the source said, and Bush agreed. "We really have to do something
about it," Kerry said, according to the official. White House
spokesman Scott McClellan said Bush told Kerry, "I think
you were an admirable, honorable opponent."
Kerry placed his call after weighing unattractive
options overnight. With Bush holding fast to a six-figure lead
in make-or-break Ohio, Kerry could give up or trigger a struggle
that would have stirred memories of the bitter recount in Florida
that propelled Bush to the White House in 2000. Kerry's call was
the last bit of drama in a campaign full of it. While Bush remains
in the White House, he returns to the Senate, part of the shrunken
He acted, hours after White House chief of staff
Andy Card declared Bush the winner and White House aides said
the president was giving Kerry time to consider his next step.
One senior Democrat familiar with the discussions in Boston said
Kerry's running mate, North Carolina Sen. John Edwards, was suggesting
that he shouldn't concede.
The official said Edwards, a trial lawyer, wanted
to make sure all options were explored and that Democrats pursued
them as thoroughly as Republicans would if the positions were
reversed. Advisers said the campaign just wanted one last look
for uncounted ballots that might close the 136,000-vote advantage
Bush held in Ohio.
An Associated Press survey of the state's 88 counties found there
were about 150,000 uncounted provisional ballots and an unspecified
number of absentee votes still to be counted.
Ohio aside, New Mexico and Iowa remained too close to call in
a race for the White House framed by a worldwide war against terror
and economic worries at home.
But those two states were for the record - Ohio alone had the
electoral votes to swing the election to the man in the White
House or his Democratic challenger.
Republicans already were celebrating election gains in Congress.
They picked up at least three seats in the Senate, and a fourth
was within their grasp, in Alaska. And they drove Democratic leader
Tom Daschle from office. That will be the state of play on Capitol
Hill for the next two years, with the chance of a Supreme Court
nomination fight looming along with legislative battles. Republicans
also re-enforced their majority in the House.
Bush's relentless effort to wrest Pennsylvania from the Democratic
column fell short. He had visited the state 44 times, more than
any other. Kerry picked up New Hampshire in perhaps the election's
only turnover. In Ohio, Kerry won among young adults, but lost
in every other age group. One-fourth of Ohio voters identified
themselves as born-again Christians and they backed Bush by a
In Senate contests, Rep. John Thune's victory over Daschle represented
the first defeat of a Senate party leader in a re-election race
in more than a half century.
Bobby Jindal makes it to US House
Bobby Jindal has made history with a landslide win to the US Congress.
The 33-year-old political whizkid is the first Indian American
to enter the House of Representatives after a gap of nearly 50
years. For long regarded as a shoo-in from Louisiana's first congressional
district, Jindal effectively avenged his narrow defeat in last
year's gubernatorial race. Jindal, who had been handpicked by
President Bush for a key slot in his administration earlier on,
romped home with an astounding 78 per cent of the vote.
Two other Indian Americans came out with flying
colours in state elections. Democrat Swati Dandekar was re-elected
as state representative from Iowa, while Republican Nikki Randhawa
Haley was elected to the South Carolina assembly. Yet another
woman of Indian stock, Republican Jay Rao, put up a spirited fight
in the race for North Carolina's secretary of state before losing
to Democratic incumbent Elaine Marshall. Rao garnered 1,374,110
votes (43.12 per cent) as against Marshall's 1,812,271 votes (56.88
This is the first time that Indian Americans from
the Republican fold have achieved success. All the four serving
Indian legislators have been Democrats --Kumar Barve of Maryland
House of Delegates, Satveer Chaudhary of Minnesota Senate, Upendra
Chivkula of New Jersey Assembly and Dandekar. The icing on the
cake was really Jindal's massive victory from his home state of
Louisiana. The only other Indian American to have been elected
to the House of Representatives was the late Dalip Singh Saund,
a Democrat from California, way back in 1956.
Jindal's victory was never in doubt. With a head
start in the race, he ran a spirited campaign for which he had
raised $ 2 million. The Democrats never had a chance but they
had put up five candidates in a bid to force a run-off election
by denying Jindal the requisite 50.1 per cent for an outright
win. But Jindal, a Rhodes scholar and former president of the
University of Louisiana system, upset those calculations by polling
209,652 votes. His nearest Democratic opponent Roy Armstrong managed
a mere 18,032 votes.
Having served the Bush administration as assistant
secretary of health and human services, Jindal is expected to
be actively involved in key House committee assignments.
In South Carolina, Nikki Randhawa Haley's victory
was a foregone conclusion. The decks had been cleared last June
when the young Sikh woman had pipped a fellow Republican in the
party primaries. Her name was the only on the ballot after a bid
by an Independent had fallen by the wayside. The Democrats chose
not to put up a candidate in the heavily Republican segment.
In Iowa, Nagpur-born Swati Dandekar had a smooth
sailing in her re-election bid to the state assembly, defeating
her Republican opponent by 10 percentage points. The 53-year-old
Dandekar, who has lived in Iowa for the last 30 years, overcame
a fierce campaign. She has been closely involved with John Kerry's
campaign in Iowa.
Another interesting contest involving an Indian
American was witnessed in New Jersey -- Republican Sylvester Fernandes
who sought to take on the popular India Caucus founder Frank Pallone
for the US Congress. But Pallone, who enjoys the community's backing,
scored a handsome win (67.78 per cent) as against Fernandes's
30.25 per cent votes
US discuss cyber-security cooperation
DELHI, Oct 12: Indian and US information technology experts and
senior government officials have begun talks on strengthening cyber-security
in a world that is becoming "always connected, always networked".
Delivering the keynote address on "Cyber security: A key to
US-India Trade" at India-US Information Security Summit here
on Tuesday, the visiting US Under Secretary of Commerce, Mr Kenneth
Juster, said the US welcomed India as a vital partner in addressing
global cyber security issues.
two economies are becoming increasingly interconnected with the
growth of computer software development in both countries, as well
as the growing trend in utilizing information technology-related
services in each other's country." Favouring a public-private
partnership in combating cyber crimes, Mr Juster said the industry
was in the best position to identify threats and vulnerabilities,
articulate the need for security and protection of assets, and share
ideas and best practices for the development of cyber security technologies,
policies, and programmes.
cornerstone of our national cybersecurity strategy, as well as our
cyber security initiatives with India, is an effective partnership
with industry." He recommended a comprehensive legal framework
and effective enforcement capability as part of a nation's strategy
to secure cyberspace.
Juster said "we hope that our two governments can establish
24/7 watch and warning capabilities in order to help prevent and,
if necessary, recover from incidents in which security is compromised,"
he said, adding that "these and other topics will be open for
discussion at the next meeting of the US-India Cybersecurity Forum
in November in Washington."
said the US, through the framework of Cybersecurity Forum, sought
to work with India to develop appropriate standards for cyber security
and to strengthen national laws and enforcement capabilities. "
While we favour a regulatory approach that is not excessive or burdensome
on legitimate businesses and consumers, we also believe it is important
that natioanl laws on cyber crime be harmonised, so that hackers
and others do not move from country to country in search of lax
enforcement and non-existent penalities."
that the Council of Europe's Convention of Cybercrime provided a
useful modelto follow, Mr Juster said it set forth principles for
strengthening national laws concerning cyber crimes and encouraging
international cooperation on the investigation of such crimes. In
this context, he urged India to adhere to the principles in this
two-day meeting that focused on how India and the United States
can jointly tackle threats to their information infrastructure,
as American companies shift more software jobs to India. Senior
officials from the US State Department and the Department of Homeland
Security were also at the meeting, organised by the Information
Technology Association of America and National Association of Software
and Service Companies (NASSCOM).
meeting aimed to share best practices and explore possible joint
US-India programmes and initiatives to strengthen information security
and establish global standards for secure sourcing.
critical information infrastructure has become imperative in this
emerging, always connected, always networked, environment. Our objective
is to position India as a trusted sourcing destination," according
to Kiran Karnik, NASSCOM President. He said industry poll showed
82 per cent of customers of Indian technology companies are more
concerned about data security than ever before. The poll, conducted
by NASSCOM and its US counterpart, also showed that security practices
are a critical selling point for Indian outsourcing companies who
sell their services to US firms.
from Microsoft Corp, Chase Bank and CISCO Systems were among those
involved in the discussions as India and the United States venture
into new areas of advanced technology cooperation.
talks on high tech trade move forward
DELHI, Oct 11: The United States will post a Commerce Department
official here later this month to help coordinate high technology
trade and ensure that technologies transferred to India are used
in the manner they are licensed for, according to Ken Juster, US
Under Secretary for Commerce.
to newsmen here, Mr Juster, who is here to review the meeting of
the Indo-US High Technology Cooperation Group this morning, "we
will be posting someone from the Commerce Department later this
month in India who will be here on a permanent basis." He said
"the official will help US companies understand the opportunities
in high technology sector in India and also help Indian companies
understand US export control systems and requirements so that US
technologies that are transferred are used in the manner they are
Juster said, as it was done the world over, "periodic end use
checks on a spot basis" would be carried out to ensure that
technology and hardware goes where it should be used for. A
spokesman of the External Affairs Ministry, Mr Navtej Sarna, said
the Indian delegation was led by the Foreign Secretary, Mr Shyam
Saran and the US delegation by Mr Ken Juster.
Sarna said this was the first meeting between the two sides after
the successful conclusion of the First Phase of the Next Steps in
Strategic Partnership (NSSP) in Washington on September 17, 2004.
It was decided that the US Assistant Secretary of State, Ms Christina
Rocca, will be visiting New Delhi from October 20 for the first
meeting of the NSSP Phase - I Implementation Group. The Group will
be headed by Mr S. Jaishankar, Joint Secretary (Americas) on the
Group will also prepare the ground for the commencement of negotiations
on Phase - II of the NSSP, which will have a broader scope and application
and will discuss steps for implementing the understandings of NSSP-I.
The spokesman said the review meeting also discussed action already
taken on several pending items and identified new ideas for collaboration
in bio-technology, nanotechnology, Advanced Information Technology
and defence technology especially in view of the more liberalized
licensing regime envisaged under the NSSP process.
said the co-chairmen of the High Technology Cooperation Group (HTCG)
will together address a FICCI-sponsored Round Table in High Technology
Commerce between India and the US tomorrow. "The objective
is to reach out to industry and business circles in India in order
to familiarize them with both the procedures and the potential of
high technology commerce between India and the US."
Sarna said the review meeting also expressed satisfaction at the
increased volume of exports of dual use technologies and products
from the US to India during the past three years. This data reveals
that this is a process that is working well. The next High Technology
Cooperation Group meeting will be held in November 2004 in Washington.
figures, the spokesman said the export data revealed that for financial
year 2002, total US exports were at US $ 3.8 billion. During financial
year 2003 it was at US $ 4.8 billion and 2004 it was already at
US $ 4.6 billion. These are figures up to July 31, 2004. The figures
for dual use exports were US $ 26 million for 2002 and US $ 90 million
up to July 31, 2004. There are still two months left before the
end of US financial year, he added.
the issue of sanctions against the two Indian scientists, he said
he was not aware weather this issue had come up come up in today's
meeting. He, however, added that India has already taken it up with
the US government.
may open strategic dialogue
By Deepak Arora
DELHI, July 24: Iran has reemerged as a major U.S. foreign policy
topic with recommendations from the Council of Foreign Relations
that Washington open a strategic dialogue with Tehran. The council's
recommendations for rapprochement come in contrast to a statement
from President Bush that Iran is being investigated for ties with
Council's recommendations for a US-Iran rapprochement were presented
July 19 by Zbigniew Brezinski, former President Jimmy Carter's National
security adviser, and Robert Gates, former director of the Central
Intelligence Agency under the first President Bush. Brezinski and
Gates were the co-chairs of the council's task force that drafted
said that opening a dialogue with Iran, similar to former President
Richard Nixon's rapprochement with China in 1972, would contribute
to US efforts to stabilize the Middle East and Southwest Asia. "It
is in this context that we are urging a policy of cautious, selected,
probing, national interest-oriented engagement with Iran to see
if it is possible to begin to address some of the issues in the
relationship between us," Brezinski said. "You might remember
that the statement of principles between the United States and China
in 1972 did not resolve any of the major issues, but pointed a way
towards the resolution," he said.
said that US actions in Iraq, Iran's western neighbor, and in Afghanistan,
its eastern neighbor, have dramatically changed the geopolitical
landscape of the Middle East and Southwest Asia and may have created
new opportunities for engagement with Iran. "The task force
also devoted considerable time to Iran's involvement in the conflicts
of the region, particularly in Afghanistan, Iraq, and between Israelis
and Palestinians," Gates said. "We believe that Iran has
considerable influence in all three arenas and can play an important
role in either assisting or impeding U.S. objectives."
said the authors of the recommendations had no illusions about Iran's
nuclear ambitions, its support for terrorist groups, its ambiguous
behavior in Iraq and Afghanistan, and its violations of human rights.
But he said that efforts to bring about regime change in Iran are
unlikely to succeed and the use of US force against Iran is a remote
possibility. Under those circumstances, Gates said, "it is
better to see whether it is possible to draw Iran into contributing
to regional stability rather than to be attracted by the idea of
undermining the region and combating our efforts to stabilize it."
the same day that the council released its recommendations, President
Bush said the United States is investigating links between the Iranian
government and al-Qaida, including intelligence indicating that
Iran may have offered safe passage to terrorists who later carried
out the attacks in New York and Washington on September 11, 2001.
Bush said that US investigators have found "no direct connection
between Iran and the attack of September 11," but he added,
"we will continue to look and see if the Iranians were involved."
commission investigating the 9/11 attacks has obtained intelligence
showing that Iran had allowed as many as 10 of the terrorists to
pass through border stations in late 1990 and early 1991 without
having their passports stamped, making it easier for them to enter
the United States without raising suspicions. "I have long
expressed my concerns about Iran. After all, it's a totalitarian
society where free people are not allowed to, you know, exercise
their rights as human beings," Bush said.
House Spokesman Scott McClellan said Iran has been high on President
Bush's priorities since early in his administration. The spokesman
said the 9/11 attacks taught the United States that it cannot wait
for terrorist threats to build and fully materialize. "That's
why he's been working with the international community to get Iran
to end its pursuit of nuclear weapons and to abide by the international
obligations Iran agreed to. That's why we are pressing Iran to turn
over those al-Qaida members in their country to their country of
origin. That's why we are continuing to urge the unelected few in
Iran to heed the aspirations of the Iranian people," McClellan
State Department official stated that U.S. policy towards Iran has
not changed and the United States continues to have well-known,
long-standing policy differences with Iran. The official said the
U.S. government has "grave concerns" about Iran's support
for terrorism, its pursuit of weapons of mass destruction, and its
"appalling human rights record."
policy remains that we are willing to engage with Iran on specific
issues of mutual concern, in an appropriate manner, if and when
the president determines it is in our interest to do so," the
remains close friend, partner: US
By Deepak Arora
NEW DELHI, July 15: The United States has said that
the Deputy Secretary of State, Mr Richard Armitage's meetings in
New Delhi with the new Indian dispensation reflected the "warm
and collaborative nature" of the relationship between the two
countries. "The United States and India remain close friends
and partners. All of Armitage's meetings reflected the warm and
collaborative nature of our relationship with India and they are
indicative of the direction we want the relationship to proceed,"
according to Mr Richard Boucher, US State Department spokesman.
Mr Boucher said Mr Armitage was the highest-ranking US government
official to visit India after the new Congress-led UPA government
came to power. Asked whether Armitage found any disposition "in
that region" for contribution of troops to Iraq, Mr Boucher
said in Washington on Wednesday "there is not anything to report
at this point. Obviously, other governments will have to give their
positions on this. This was not a major topic in India. I think
the Indian Government has already been quite clear on what its position
During his brief visit, Mr Armitage had meetings with the Prime
Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, the External Affairs Minister, Mr Natwar
Singh, the Defence Minister, Mr Pranab Mukherjee, the National Security
Advisor, Mr J N Dixit, and the Foreign Secretary, Mr Shashank. He
also met the leader of the Opposition.
He briefed the leaders on the Iraq situation, Afghanistan, Pakistan,
Jammu and Kashmir besides other regional issues.
The US has not made any request for contribution of troops to Iraq,
he said, adding India had, however, indicated ways in which it may
be helpful in the reconstruction and rehabilitation of the war-ravaged
Meanwhile, India has reiterated its willingness to reconstruct
Iraq in line with the views of the people and Parliament of India.
New Delhi wanted the early restoration of security, stability and
the way of life of the Iraqi people, according to a spokesman of
the Ministry of External Affairs. Welcoming the transfer of power
as a first step towards full sovereignty, India stated its concerns
about the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of
On whether there was any difference of approach between the previous
and present Governments in India, Mr Armitage had told newsmen in
New Delhi "I must say that there seems to be no difference
between the Opposition and the Government in power on the desirability
of enhanced India-U.S. relations."
"We have absolute confidence that the U.S.-India relationship
will grow in all its aspects," Mr Armitage said. Foreign policy
itself was not a major area of disagreement between the Opposition
and the United Progressive Alliance. On whether Pakistan had dismantled
the infrastructure of terrorism on its soil, he said all of it had
not been dismantled. Referring to infiltration, he said "any
level" of infiltration was too much.
The point, he said, was not to have any infiltration at all. Asked
what he thought of Pakistani actions against the Al-Qaeda and Taliban
terrorists on its border with Afghanistan, the US official said
the Pakistani friends were engaged in "full force" in
the battle against the Al-Qaeda. The whole question of Pakistan
and the Taliban was more complicated, he said, adding that they
wanted the Pakistanis to be "more muscular" on this issue.
Denying that the US was getting increasingly isolated in Iraq,
Mr Armitage said the Iraqi people had accepted the new "government"
with alacrity. In his view, Iraqis today were not fighting Americans,
but other Iraqis.
US to increase cooperation in biotechnology sector
DELHI, June 29: India and United States have decided to increase
cooperation in agricultural biotechnology research and development.
The Minister for Science and Technology and Ocean Development, Mr
Kapil Sibal, and the US Ambassador, Mr. David C Mulford, signed
a Letter of Intent to this effect here today. The Department of
Biotechnology of the Government of India and the United States Agency
for International Development of the United States of America are
the coordinators of the two countries respectively.
programme will encourage the creation of partnership to bring together
India and US institutions to pursue agricultural biotechnology research
projects of mutual interest including technology development, technology
diffusion, biosafety and related policy activities.
programme is also expected to include joint workshops, conferences,
scientific exchanges and training of the scientists. Collaborative
activities shall be subject to the laws and regulations of each
country and funding may come from a variety of sources on both sides.
overcharging objective of the programme is to increase the range
of safe and environmentally sound technological options available
to the producers and consumers of agricultural products. The focus
of this collaborative effort will be on improving productivity as
well as nutritional quality of our crops.
drought salinity and extreme temperature conditions are experienced
by crops grown in arid and semi-arid regions and these are some
of the most critical factors affecting agricultural production.
Specific research projects to address these issues will be developed.
The technologies to be used to achieve the goals will be an appropriate
mix of traditional plant breeding approaches and modern biotechnologies.
is envisaged that the specific programmes to be developed will be
guided by the policies and practices recommended by the National
Agriculture Biotechnology policies of the partner countries with
emphasis on the interest of farmers, consumers and the environment.
Sibal said that the main objective of this agreement is to develop
pest resistant agricultural produce and to improve food production
in the country. The critical focus will be on the production of
rice and wheat. Mr. Mulford highlighted the relationship between
the two countries and said that this comprehensive agreement will
go a long way in helping India to increase its food production.
Child from 5 to 20 in New Jersey
Has the Right to Attend Public School Regardless of Immigration
Seema M. Singh
first day of school can be a difficult time for children, especially
if they are starting at an entirely new school after their family
has moved to a new community.
it can be especially upsetting for the children of immigrants if
school officials bar them from enrolling because of their visa or
immigration status. Every year in New Jersey, children of immigrant
parents are unfairly prevented by local officials from attending
public schools because of their status.
who have come to America from another country should know that both
United States and New Jersey laws say that local school officials
in your town cannot refuse to enroll your children in public schools
because of their immigration or visa status.
children older than 5 years and younger than 20 years are entitled
to a public school education in the appropriate school in the school
district in which they reside.
In fact, the law specifically says that school officials, as well
as local municipal authorities (and that includes the police), are
not even permitted to ask you questions or require any documents
regarding citizenship, immigration or visa status in order to enroll
children in school. The law also states that officials are not allowed
to ask questions about or require income tax returns or the family’s
social security numbers.
only need to show local school officials proof that they live in
the school district and the district will assign your child to the
appropriate school for the area in which your child resides. If
there are several elementary schools in your community, then your
child will attend the school whose area includes your residence.
That is usually the school that is closest to you. If there is only
one high school in your town, then your children attends that school.
proof of eligibility that school officials can require to enroll
children includes, among others, copies of a lease or mortgage,
a signed letter from a landlord that proves residence, a property
tax bill, voter registration card, driver’s license, a canceled
rent or mortgage check, or a utility bill.
the parents present proof of eligibility, enrollment should take
the information is incomplete, unclear or questionable, enrollment
of children must take place immediately, but parents have to provide
the missing information. School officials cannot send children home
until the application is completed. Children go to school while
the enrollment application is completed.
a child is denied enrollment, the school district must provide a
written notice of ineligibility. The school district must also explain
your right to appeal the decision to the Commissioner of Education
in Trenton. If you then tell school officials that you disagree
with their decision and that you plan to appeal their decision,
your child is enrolled for a limited period of time. You have up
to 21 days to file the petition of appeal with the Commissioner
Even if the school district tells you that your child cannot go
to school in that district, school officials have to admit your
child if you tell the officials right then that you disagree with
their decision and that you plan to appeal to the Commissioner of
Education. Under the law, they have to admit your child to school.
is only one exception. Students holding an F-1 visa, which is issued
specifically for the purpose of studying on a tuition basis in the
United States at public secondary schools, must obtain permission
from the school in order to obtain the visa and are not entitled
to a free public education. However, in these cases, school officials
are already aware of the student’s intent to enroll in the
A new school in a new town in a new country can be an exciting time
for a child. Let’s make sure that the first day of school
will always be a positive memory.
M. Singh, is the Ratepayer Advocate for the State of New Jersey
in the USA and, was appointed by Governor James E. McGreevey to
be his Public Advocate when the Department of the Public Advocate
is established. As a member of the Governor’s Cabinet, she
is the most senior Asian Indian in state government. The Governor
also appointed Ms. Singh to serve as a member of the State Executive
Commission on the Ethical Standards and his Asian American Commission.
She is a founder of the Hindu International Council Against Defamation
and is a member of the Legal Committee of the Federation of Indian