Indian-American leaders to meet Obama team over 26/11 | india | Hindustan Times
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Indian-American leaders to meet Obama team over 26/11

india Updated: Jan 26, 2009 17:27 IST
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About 150 influential Indian-Americans have formed a lobby group in Washington and will meet the members of the new Obama Administration and top Congressmen to demand that they step up pressure on Pakistan to take action against the perpetrators of Mumbai attacks.

The community leaders from various parts of the country will hold the meeting on Tuesday to impress upon them the need for Pakistan to bring the 26/11 conspirators to justice.

The leaders represent the "Indian American Task Force" (IATF) which was set up by several community organisations, to lobby at the Capitol and before the new administration for ensuring action against the perpetrators of the attacks which killed over 170 people, including six Americans.

The task force was set up by groups like the Asian American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA) and the US India Political Action Committee.

"We are here not simply to highlight terrorism directed against innocent civilians in India, but also because we believe that these developments in India represent a clear security challenge to the US itself," said Mukesh Advani, San Francisco-based Task Force Joint Coordinator.

Noting that this is for the first time terrorists originating from Pakistan killed foreigners living in India including Jews, Advani said they believed that it is in America's own national security interest to ensure the elimination of terrorist training camps in Pakistan, the source of these attacks.

"We are not against Pakistan or the people of Pakistan," said New York-based Task Force Joint Coordinator Ram Narayanan.

"In fact, we are pleased that Pakistan now has a democratically elected civilian government and we are seeking ways to help Pakistan's civilian government to eradicate terrorism from its soil," he said.

"The IATF is seeking peaceful means through grassroots lobby work and dissemination of information to work with US lawmakers to find practical solutions to the volatile situation in South Asia following the Mumbai terrorist attacks.

"Our goal is to ensure that the interests of the United States and India are protected in the ongoing war against terrorism," said Narayanan.

Meanwhile, Pakistani American groups have announced that they would oppose the move by Indian-Americans to lobby before the Capitol and Obama team.