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Senator Mixes Up India And Pakistan

Fri., April 7, 1995

When Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto of Pakistan visited the Senate floor Thursday, Sen. Jesse Helms mistakenly introduced her as the leader of India, her country’s neighbor and rival.

“The Foreign Relations Committee has had the honor of welcoming the distinguished prime minister of India, and I wish to bring her to the floor,” intoned Helms, R-N.C., the committee’s chairman.

Five minutes later, after Bhutto had shaken senators’ hands, Helms said he had just completed “a delightful hour-and-a-half conversation” talking mostly about India.

A colleague informed him he had misidentified the prime minister, he said.

“If I said that, I’ve never made a more grievous error and I hope the record will be changed to show that,” said Helms.

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