Anti-war US senator heads S Asia body
By Khalid Hasan
WASHINGTON: Sen. Lincoln Chafee, a liberal, who voted against the Senate resolution authorising President George Bush to attack Iraq, is the new chairman of the Senate sub-committee on Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs.
Since it was he who accused the White House of “bellicosity”, his being chosen as head of this important sub-committee, instead of Sen. Sam Brownback, would not be looked upon favourably by this ultra conservative administration. However, Brownback who piloted the amendments that resulted in the lifting of sanctions against India and Pakistan, will remain a member of the sub-committee.
A Chafee aide has been quoted as saying that the Senator from Rhode Island would not ignore South Asia at the expense of the Middle East as he is well aware of the importance and volatility of the South Asian region and the continuing tension between Pakistan and India. Afghanistan also falls in the jurisdiction of the sub-committee that Chafee heads.
The Democrats on the sub-committee include Senators Barbara Boxer of California, Jon S Corzine of New Jersey and John D. Rockefeller of West Virginia. Paul S. Sarbanes of Maryland, a member of the India caucus and one of New Delhi’s staunchest supporters, is also a member of the sub-committee.