America and India are now joined by tragedy. The attacks by Islamic extremists on Mumbai have made it clear--if it had not been before--that the United States, as the world's richest democracy, is in solidarity with the world's most populous democracy. Both our nations, along with the world's oldest democracy--Great Britain--are joined in a fight against those who hate the very freedoms that have made us great.
India gained its independence from Great Britain 58 years ago and has Asia's oldest stock exchange in Mumbai. English is its language of business. India maintains good relations with Britain and the U.S. as a member of the Commonwealth. In India there is freedom of religion--rare in that part of the world. For all these reasons, India too has now become a target of religious extremists.
India's Prime Minister has taken a strong stand against the violence and terror that has shut down Mumbai--the city Westerners call Bombay. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh told his people: "We will take the strongest possible measures to ensure that there is no repetition of such terrorist acts. We are determined to take whatever measures are necessary to ensure the safety and security of our citizens."
India has the third largest military in the world and one of the best trained. Together, the military might and the intelligence strength of our two nation's are unbeatable. Working together we can defeat an evil that targets women and children, hospital and hotel, Westerner and Jew, Hindu and Christian.
Said Prime Minister Singh: "We will go after these individuals and organisations and make sure that every perpetrator, organiser and supporter of terror, whatever his affiliation or religion may be, pays a heavy price for these cowardly and horrific acts against our people."
We're ready India. Just ask us and we are there.