Washington, DC. 03 December, 2008. The U.S. India Political Action Committee (USINPAC) continues to lead the Indian American community's response to terrorist attacks in Mumbai. USINPAC is working with several key Members of Congress to ensure the U.S. responds properly to the attacks. Today, USINPAC spoke with Rep. Steve Israel (D-NY), member of the influential House Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs, about US-India counter-terrorism legislation he is currently drafting and the upcoming Congressional Resolution condemning the attacks. USINPAC also continued planning a highly anticipated Congressional Briefing next week.
"USINPAC will be working with Congress every step of the way, including gaining support for next week's Congressional Resolution condemning the attacks, and providing updated information and analysis to key decision makers in the U.S. and India," said Sanjay Puri, Chairman of USINPAC. "Congress is relying heavily on USINPAC because we have a proven expertise on US-India relations and terrorism against India," continued Puri. "We are constantly monitoring what is happening in India, Pakistan, and the U.S. so we can brief Congress with the most reliable and relevant information on the attacks."
USINPAC is circulating a petition calling for changes in U.S. aid to Pakistan to be signed by Indian Americans across the country and will then present the petition to Congress. To access the petition, please visit http://www.petitiononline.com/USINPAC9/petition.html
It is important to get active participation on this petition to demonstrate to the U.S. Congress and the administration the anger, pain, and desire for action on the issue of terror camps in Pakistan that is being felt by the Indian American community.
Many members of Congress have issued statements condemning the attacks, offering condolences to the victims and their families, and promising to continue to work with USINPAC to advance US-India relations and combat terrorism. In particular, Rep. Steve Israel delivered a moving speech in response to the attacks. An excerpt is listed below. For the full text please contact
Rep. Steve Israel (D-NY)
, An attack on a hotel in Mumbai is an attack on us all. An attack on a parliament in Delhi, or bus stop in Tel Aviv, or two towers in New York is an attack against us all. There is a line in the world between people who teach kids how to blow things up, and people who teach kids how to put things together. Between those who use bullets, and those who use ballots. Between those who believe in the bright hope of the future, and those who would force us into the dark recesses of the past. On one side of that line: Al Qaeda, Lashkar-e-Taiba, Taliban, Jaish-e-Muhammad. On the other side: The United States and India are the world's oldest democracy, and the world's largest democracy. Today, we stand on one side of that line, united in grief. But that's just today. On all other days we are united in strength and hope."Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA)
, in a letter to Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh: "As a close friend and a strong supporter, let me extend my sincere condolences to you and the people of India, especially the families of the victims, in the wake of the Mumbai attacks. India has been exemplary in its commitment to freedom and tolerance, and I urge India to remain calm during this difficult period, and let the evidence uncovered during an investigation lead to those responsible. Tragedy has united the world and its nations will help India heal these wounds."Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA)
, Ranking Member of the Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferatoin and Trade: "It is often said that India and America have a natural bond as the two largest democracies. Today, we share a bond of a common enemy: what the 9/11 Commission identified as Islamist terrorism. Islamist ideology is spreading across South Asia, and must be stamped out. I am confident in the aftermath of these attacks, we will see all the resilience that is embodied in the Indian people."Rep. Paul Hodes (D-NH):
"The horrific terrorist attack on the people of India is an unconscionable tragedy and my sympathy goes out to the victims and their families. Now is the time for the United States to stand shoulder to shoulder with the people of India and I plan to work with other members of Congress, the next Administration, and the Indian American community to make sure that we are working with India to promote security and safety for our two countries. India is one of our closest allies and dearest friends in the international community, and we support the people of India especially during this difficult time."Sen. Jon Cornyn (R-TX)
, Co-Chair of Senate Caucus on India and Indian Americans: "My family and I want to offer our heartfelt condolences to our friends in India, fellow Americans, and all those who lost loved ones in the senseless terrorist attacks in Mumbai. Sadly, our nation is no stranger to the wrath of terrorists with no regard for human life. While we know firsthand the feelings of shock and grief, we also know how tragedy can bring a nation together to rebuild and grow even stronger. I hope together we can send this message of solidarity and hope to our friends in India as they pick up the pieces from these horrific attacks. The attacks in Mumbai are a sad and solemn reminder that the threat of terrorism remains very real and present. Now more than ever, our nation and our allies must stay united in the fight against terrorism to protect innocent lives and the freedoms we hold so dearly." Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ)
, founder of Caucus on India and Indian Americans: "I condemn the cowardly terrorist attacks that spread violence and fear throughout Mumbai for three straight days. These inexcusable attacks targeted innocent civilians. My thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of the victims of this terrible tragedy. I am confident that the resilience of the Indian people will help them during this very difficult period. I am hopeful that the Indian government, with the help of the U.S. and other nations, will find those responsible for the development and implementation of these horrendous attacks. This is just another reminder that we all must remain vigilant against terrorist groups that have absolutely no regard for human life. These hateful acts of violence will only serve to strengthen the relationship between the people of India and the United States, and I am committed to working with the Indian-American community to advance U.S.-India relations during this tragic time." Rep. Joe Crowley (D-NY)
, "My prayers and condolences go out to the people of Mumbai, their friends and families across the world, including many in my district affected by these acts of terrorism. Those responsible for these cowardly attacks will be brought to justice. As we have seen over the last 24 hours, terrorism is not a threat to the West alone. This horrific event serves as a wake up call to the global community. We need to come together to fight terrorism at its root -- poverty and autocratic rule. We need to expand international anti-terrorism cooperation, humanitarian efforts and the promotion of democracy world-wide. Today, as we give thanks as a nation for our blessings, we must also take a moment to remember Mumbai." Rep. Mike Honda (D-CA)
, Vice Chair of the Democratic Party and Chair of the Asian Pacific American Caucus: "On behalf of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, I send my deepest condolences to all the victims of the terrorist attacks in Mumbai, and to their families. We look forward to continuing our work with organizations like USINPAC and the Indian American community to advance cooperation between the United States and India, and to strengthen this important partnership in our counter-terrorism efforts."