United States Senator John Cornyn, (Texas, Republican) and founder of the Senate
India Caucus has said ‘America’s
strategic partnership with India was
one of the Bush administration’s
greatest diplomatic achievements.
He asserted it was imperative that
the United States ‘do everything pos-
sible to make that partnership
Delivering the keynote address at a
conference ‘Future of US-India
Relations,’ organized by the
American Enterprise Institute — a
neo-conservative Washington, DC
think tank — Cornyn warned against
the US committing errors that could
poison the well.
As an example he cited the immigration bill passed by the Senate that
contained inimical provisions that
penalized Indian information technology companies that has caused
much heartburn in New Delhi.
After a rousing introduction by
Sadanand Dhume, head AEI’s South
Asia Program, Cornyn said when it
came to US-India relations he felt a
personal attachment to the issue, for
‘several reasons,’ including that he
represented a state ‘ that roughly a
quarter million Indian Americans
‘In fact, earlier this month I had
the privilege of visiting the magnifi-
cent BAPS temple in Houston,’ he
said. ‘Every time I meet with their
community leaders, I’m reminded of
all the tremendous contributions
that Indian Americans have made to
our society. I’m also reminded of the
tremendous potential of the US-
But he bemoaned, ‘Unfortunately,
that potential remains unfulfilled.’
He took swipes at the Obama
administration and the Democrat-
controlled Senate for certain actions
and inaction, which he implied had
sullied the partnership to some
extent from the highs during the
‘When President Bush and Prime
Minister Singh signed a bilateral
civil nuclear cooperation agreement
in 2006, they made it clear that a
US-India strategic partnership had
finally arrived,’ he said.
Cornyn acknowledged that under
President Obama, ‘we’ve made some
progress on various security issues,
including the Defense Trade
Initiative, ‘ and that between 2002
and 2012, overall US trade with
India grew by 293 percent, with total
US exports growing by 439 percent.’
And yet, he argued, ‘ two-way trade
and investment could be much,
much greater than it was now.’
‘To get us there, officials in both
Washington and New Delhi will
have to rejuvenate the partnership
that was launched under President
Bush,’ he said.
‘Under the Bush administration,
policy in South
Asia. They sepa-
rated US policy
toward India from
US policy toward
Pakistan. That was
a crucial step in
the process of
trust and forging
the US-India part-
nership has lost
some of its
partly because of
and partly because
nities to deepen
He said the US ‘could dramatically
expand US exports to India by mak-
ing it easier for American companies
to export liquefied natural gas.’
Cornyn said he could understand
the angst of US business and indus-
try over issues like market access.
‘After all, India’s treatment of foreign investment remains highly protectionist, and its regulatory system
remains overly burdensome and
complicated,’ he added.
‘Instead of asking New Delhi for
special favors, US multinationals
should be pushing Indian officials to
adopt broad-based economic
reforms that would benefit all com-
panies — and all people — who do
business in the world’s second-
In a set of recommendations to US
policymakers, he said, ‘We need to
be realistic. Americans know how
difficult it is to pass major fiscal and
regulatory reforms in a country of
300 million people. So we can imag-
ine how difficult it must be in a
country of 1.2 billion.’
He argued that ‘India cannot
transform itself overnight any more
than we can. The last thing US offi-
cials should do is to alienate our
Indian partners by applying too
much pressure. Instead, we should
focus on modest but achievable
short-term goals that will encourage
Indian reformers and create a new
sense of momentum.’
‘Washington and New
Delhi need to rejuvenate
ties formed under Bush’
Senator John Cornyn, center, at the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Temple in Houston.
death not a simple
suicide case: Police
Harmandeep Singh and Kiranjeet Kaur
The apparent murder-suicide case of a newlywed Sikh couple in Fresno, California, could be more complex, according to local police.
Harmandeep Singh, 33, and Kiranjeet Kaur, 29, were
found dead in their home November 16.
“We know this was a murder-suicide case but it’s com-
plex because we are getting more stories from witnesses
and are still trying to determine what actually occurred,”
Sergeant Jaime Rios, Fresno police department, told
India Abroad. “We have to obtain the motive and how it
According to the Fresno County coroner office report,
Singh committed suicide at 12:31 pm. Kaur was killed a
minute before that.
The police received a call November 17.
Sukh Bhandal, Harmandeep’s uncle, said his sister
went to the house when no one picked up the phone and
discovered the bodies in the bedroom.
He said Harmandeep got married in India three
months ago. A month ago his wife came to the US.
The family was planning a wedding party during
He said a note written by Harmandeep had been
found. It said that he loved his wife but she was the reason he was committing suicide.
The note asked to cremate the bodies as soon as possible.
Bhandal said Harmandeep’s family lived in New York
before moving to the Bay Area.
“I have seen him for the past eight years. He was a hard
working truck driver,” he added.
Harmandeep’s mother Gurbax Kaur told India Abroad
that she worked as a nanny in Sunnyvale and was at
work when she learned about the tragedy.
“They used to call me two, three times in a day. I am
confused what went wrong,” she said.