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Greater understanding of India's problems needed: Pressler

By Priyadarsshini Sharma

Photo: H. Vibhu

The Deputy Prime Minister, L.K. Advani, with the former U.S. Senator, Larry Pressler, during the inaugural ceremony of the `Amritavarsham 50' festival in Kochi on Thursday.

KOCHI Sept. 25. The former U.S. Senator, Larry Pressler, who is here in connection with the birthday celebrations of Mata Amrithanandamayi has said the basic hitch in Indo-U.S. ties was the lack of a greater understanding of India's problems in the United States.

After meeting the Deputy Prime Minister, L.K Advani, at the inaugural session of the meet, Mr. Pressler said he would like to see him come to the U.S. and meet Congress men to present India's case.

Talking to The Hindu here today he said that he would be initiating a proposal for the formation of an India Institute at Washington, a non-profit organisation, which would help a better understanding of India, in his country. India, like the U.S., was misunderstood and India's problem with Pakistan came across as an Indo-Pak squabble, "when the element of terror is more in Pakistan.''

"I am not afraid to say that we should be champions of India, not regarding Pakistan, but regarding China. I predict that in the next 25 years we can see a stiff military challenge from China,'' said the former senator.

On the large-scale condemnation of the U.S. action in Iraq, Mr. Pressler said that it was a "necessary evil". "I would like to see the U.N. do it but being the biggest country, we have a lot of responsibilities.''

Remarking that the U.S. President, George W. Bush, was doing his best to fight terrorism, he said that it was not an easy task and that the country had to be made as safe as possible. One result of the Iraq war would be a restraint on countries harbouring nuclear ambitions, something like a spin off effect, which the Pressler Amendment had. "After that four to five countries developing nuclear weapons backed off,'' cited the senator.

Championing free trade, Mr. Pressler expressed that a natural synergy existed between the two largest democracies of the world.

He felt that a Chief Executive Officer meet in conjunction with a spiritual one like the present occasion was ideal, for a new wave of thinking that unethical business should not be done, was gaining ground in the U.S. "We have to set a higher example of corporate governance,'' said Mr. Pressler who is also a full time director of the Infosys.

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