Index

DATE=3/22/2000 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT TITLE=INDIA/CLINTON/REACT (L-ONLY) (CQ) NUMBER=2-260475 BYLINE=ANJANA PASRICHA DATELINE=NEW DELHI CONTENT= Intro: President Clinton's address to the Indian Parliament has been received with enthusiasm by most legislators in the Indian capital. As Anjana Pasricha reports from New Delhi, both ruling and opposition party members say the speech appears to have set the tone for a new partnership between India and the United States. Text: In the five decades since independence from Britain, the Indian Parliament has often echoed to the sound of anti-American rhetoric. India was allied with the Soviet Union in the Cold War years. Indian members of parliament had often angrily denounced positions taken by the United States on issues such as Kashmir and nuclear proliferation in South Asia. However, as they trooped out of India's Parliament House after hearing President Clinton's half-hour speech, the mood among the 800 members of India's lower and upper houses was upbeat. The legislators had heard the world's two largest democracies have much to share in the future, despite differences. Indian National Security Adviser Brajesh Mishra says the speech appears to have put the past behind. ///MISHRA ACTUALITY/// It was delivered with the purpose of looking to the future, rather than the past. ///END ACTUALITY/// A senior leader from the opposition Congress Party, Shivraj Patil, shares the feeling Indo-American relations may improve. ///PATIL ACTUALITY/// It will certainly clear the way for better relations between the two countries and create a condition in which understanding of the differences will be easier. ///END ACTUALITY/// Even President Clinton's impassioned plea that India retreat from a nuclear weapons program did not lead to frayed tempers in parliament. Members say the president had struck the right chord, by putting forth his point of view -- but leaving it to India to "determine its interests." Omar Farooq from Kashmir is one of the youngest ministers in the federal government. /// FAROOQ ACTUALITY/// It set an excellent framework for future relations and future engagements between our two countries. As he rightly pointed out, there are areas on which we have chosen to agree to disagree, but there are numerous areas on which India and the U-S-A could work closely together. ///END ACTUALITY/// Madhavrao Scindia is a senior leader of the opposition Congress party. ///SCINDIA ACTUALITY/// I thought it was a very excellent speech. It was also very positive. It also exhibited an understanding of what India's concerns were. I think it laid a good foundation. // END ACTUALITY // Members of parliament were also happy and relieved President Clinton did not push for mediation on the Kashmir dispute -- instead stressing the need for dialogue between India and Pakistan. Indian (Information and Broadcasting) Minister Arun Jaitley was pleased. ///JAITLEY ACTUALITY/// It was a remarkable speech. He covered a variety of subjects. There was a great deal of emphasis on development, the benefits of mutual relationship and from India's point of view I think he came out very strongly against terrorism. As far as our relationship with our neighbor is concerned (he said) it has to be mutually resolved between the two of you. That part of the speech was music to our ears. ///END ACTUALITY/// However, not all were even willing to hear what the president had to say. The small "Left Parties" faction boycotted the address, saying Mr. Clinton represents imperialism. (Signed) NEB/AP/WD/KL 22-Mar-2000 09:39 AM EDT (22-Mar-2000 1439 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .