An Indo-Pak rapprochement on their soil has made several US Congressmen and senators smell opportunity. Some of them, members of the India Caucus, now want to lobby for both the South Asian rivals on the Capitol Hill.
A dozen of them jumped on to the Pakistani bandwagon when Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf opened the US-Pakistan Caucus in Washington last Wednesday. While the Pakistani diplomats who worked hard to snatch them are jubilant, political activists among the Indian Americans are angry.
And Americans are asking whether their lawmakers are reportedly being bought and sold in almost public auction-style bids between the Indian and Pakistani lobbies in Washington.
A report by Dr Manzur Ejaz, a Washington-based, Howard University academic, on the web site of BBC Urdu Service, is headlined: "What price for a US congressman?" While India Caucus is nearly 200 strong and has been around, the Pakistani effort has begun with a modest figure, but the significant thing is that many of them have been members of India Caucus.
"South Asia Tribune" web site on September 19 published a list of the Congress members, obtained from the office of Rep Dan Burton, a long time friend and supporter of Pakistan. SAT alleges that these 24 members on Burton's list include two who have taken a persistently pro-Pakistan position for years while others are new and unknown names who do not figure in any equation at Capitol Hill.
Of them, 12 are currently members of the Congressional India Caucus.