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.
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.”