An American Senator's Quest for Disarmament
25 September, Mumbai: Asia Society India Centre hosted former Senator Larry Pressler and Sidharth Bhatia, Founding Editor of The Wire for a riveting discussion on India, Pakistan and the US. Senator Pressler, who is originally from North Dakota in the US, said that he has had a keen interest in India since his days as a Rhodes scholar at Oxford. He thinks the anti-US sentiments that was prevalent in India in the last few decades has considerably reduced with more Indians seeing US as an important ally. The feeling has been mutual in many ways in the US especially with the current government giving greater importance to the Indian partnership. Initially India and Pakistan had been seen on equal footing in the US. However he regrets his lack of success at keeping nuclear weapons out of the subcontinent. He thinks the trade between India and the US is principally based on arms and should extend to more productive areas such as medical technology. Shedding light on his landmark Pressler Amendment, he mentioned, that it was substantially successful in curbing military action in this part of the continent during George Bush’s tenure. Senator Pressler also spoke about the increasingly important role lobbying has been playing in the US, with Pakistan being a prominent feature and India gradually getting there. China also featured briefly in the conversation as an important player in diffusing the North Korea and US tensions. He thinks that the Chinese are primarily concerned about the overarching good of its people owing to their Confucius faith. He ended the discussion by saying that the citizens need to wake up to an intellectual awakening and improve the state of affairs in the world not just today, but in the years to come.
As reported by Karishma Talwar, Programme Officer, Asia Society India Centre
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Watch the full programme (1 hour 30 minutes) below: