What is the Congressional Pakistan Caucus that Indian American Congressman Ro Khanna has just joined

Rep. Ro Khanna

Khanna, who represents Silicon Valley, is the first Indian American lawmaker to join the Congressional Pakistan Caucus.

In a first for an Indian American lawmaker, Rep. Ro Khanna, D-Calif., has joined the Congressional Pakistan Caucus. At a time when the relations between the South Asian neighbors India and Pakistan may be at an all-time low, the decision of the popular Indian American congressman may have come as a surprise for many.

However, the congressman who represents the Silicon Valley, has staunch anti-war credentials and has regularly spoken up against global wars and US interventions abroad. In 2017, he was featured on the Nation magazine’s Progressive Honor Roll. He is a vocal opponent of the Saudi-led war on Yemen.

For those who are unaware of what the Congressional Pakistan Caucus is and what role Khanna would play, here are some facts: The Congressional Pakistan Caucus for the 116th Congress was launched as a means to strengthen the US-Pakistan bilateral relationships. It was announced in Houston in May this year and is co-chaired by Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, and Rep. Jim Banks, R-Ind.

For many years, Lee has been the founding co-chair of the caucus, which was revived for the 116th Congress after being defunct for a while.

ALSO READ: Indian American Congressman Ro Khanna calls for more debates on US military interventions abroad (May 23, 2017)

Khanna is also a member of the Congressional Caucus on India and Indian Americans. Lee is also a member of the India Caucus.

Pakistani Ambassador to the United States Asad M Khan took to Twitter to thank Khanna for his new role. He wrote: “Had a wonderful meeting with Congressman Ro Khanna. We discussed the Prime Minister’s (Imran Khan) recent visit to the US and ways to promote Pakistan-US relations. Congressman Khanna took keen interest in promoting peace in South Asia. Thanked him for joining the Pakistan Caucus.”

About joining the Pakistan Caucus, Khanna told the Indian news agency PTI: “I am a proud member of the US-India Caucus and have supported legislation condemning the terrorist bombing in Kashmir and promoting stronger defense ties between the US and India. At the same time, I believe it’s critical to engage all regional players, including India and Pakistan, to stabilize Afghanistan so that the US can withdraw troops. I will continue to pursue the American objectives of a strong US-India relationship and peace and stability in the region.”

2 Comments

  1. Santa Kumaran

    Would a Pakistani American Congressman do the same with an Indian ambassador? Would Illhan Omar & Rashida Tlaib do any such thing to extend an olive branch to Israeli ambassadors? I don’t think so!! Ro Khanna just made a grave mistake by meeting with Pakistani Ambassador. His mentor Bernie Sanders just delivered a speech at International Islamic meeting in Houston against India on Kashmir. Such a shame that Ro Khanna was just sitting there without defending India. Although he doesn’t have any obligation to defend India, unfortunately he’s the grandson of India’s freedom fighter. And a former member of Parliament. What’s gotten into the Democrats? All of a sudden they have turned anti Semitic and anti Hindus, talking like Iranian mullahs. There are like 5 million Indian Americans. No matter how much they like or dislike Modi, they’re not going to sit quiet if the Democrats continue to assault India’s sovereignty on Kashmir that too with lobby from Pakistan. Imagine how much impact do those hundreds of thousands of votes show in Swing states like Michigan, Florida and Pennsylvania.

  2. Anil Prayag

    My opinion: Indian Americans and Pakistani Americans should join hands here in the US. Together, we should try to cultivate friendship between these two nuclear powers.
    If Ro Khanna also believes in this, it is the right step! We must support it.
    It will be interesting to know the views of American Bazaar’s readers on this subject.

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