WASHINGTON: A Hindu American body has opposed the joint production of drones by Russia, Pakistan and Turkey and supported a Congressional move to seek an investigation into the matter.
Last week, a bipartisan group of lawmakers, including David Cicilline and Gus Bilirakis, in a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken demanded suspension of export licences for US drone technology to Turkey, pending an official investigation into the destabilising role of Ankara's drone programmes in the Caucasus, South Asia, Eastern Mediterranean, and other regions around the world.
In a statement on Monday, the Hindu American Foundation (HAF) supported the Congressional move, saying the Turkish-Pakistani-Russian joint production of combat UAVs should alarm democracies around the world and that the drone strikes in Kashmir on June 26 and 27 should serve as a reminder of the challenges that America's ally India faces.
"Turkey's increasingly destabilising role from North Africa, to the Middle East, to the South Caucasus, and to South Asia, poses a clear and direct threat to the US, our interests, and to our allies and strategic partners like India, the largest democracy in the world," said HAF director of public policy Taniel Koushakjian.
The addition of Turkish combat UAVs combined with existing jihadi forces in Kashmir could poses a real threat to India, he said.
Last week, a bipartisan group of US lawmakers had said: "Turkey has entered into agreements to sell drones to Poland and Pakistan and is discussing the joint production of armed UAVs (Unmanned aerial vehicles) and anti-drone defense systems with Russia and Pakistan."
Following the statement, the group demanded suspension of export licences for US drone technology to Turkey.