U.S. remark comparing PM Modi with Saudi PM Mohammed bin Salman was unnecessary, says India

President Joe Biden, proper, shakes fingers with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. File.
| Photograph Credit score: Reuters

Criticising the U.S. State Division’s comparability of immunity given to Prime Minister Narendra Modi since 2014 with the authorized immunity now given to Saudi Crown Prince and Prime Minister Mohammed bin Salman, the federal government on Thursday stated the U.S. feedback weren’t “related, vital or contextual”.

The Ministry of Exterior Affairs additionally took intention on the U.S. Fee on Worldwide Non secular Freedom (USCIRF) for issuing a “Nation Replace” that accused the government of “partaking in or tolerating systematic, ongoing, and egregious non secular freedom violations”.

Talking a few report that stated Mr. Modi had hoped to journey to the U.S. for a State Go to in December this 12 months, the MEA spokesperson stated the federal government had made no such proposal. He additionally stated that Mr. Modi and U.S. President Joe Biden had met on a “number of occasions” throughout the recent G20 summit in Bali, together with a “transient bilateral assembly” and a trilateral assembly with Indonesian President Joko Widodo.

“We’ve got seen the biased and inaccurate observations about India by the USCIRF. Their tendency to constantly misrepresent information exhibits a lack of expertise of India, its constitutional framework, plurality and sturdy democratic system,” stated MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi, when requested in regards to the replace issued by the Congressional physique that had already issued an annual report and different paperwork expressing concern over human rights and non secular freedom in India earlier this 12 months.

The “Nation Replace”, launched on November 22, had included current incidents and authorities actions that it referred to as a “crackdown on civil society and dissent”, pointing to the imprisonment and harassment of “journalists, legal professionals, rights activists, lecturers, political leaders, non secular minorities, and others essential of its insurance policies”. It additionally stated that the federal government’s actions have “eroded the secular ideas of the Indian Structure and India’s pluralistic democracy by selling and implementing its Hindutva ideology by way of authorities coverage”, and beneficial that the U.S. State division, which periodically releases a listing of nations being watched for non secular freedom points, to designate India as a Nation of Specific Concern (CPC).

The MEA spokesperson stated the federal government had not protested in regards to the USCIRF report with the U.S. Embassy or authorities, because the USCIRF is a U.S. Congressional physique, not a authorities one. In 2005, Mr. Modi, the then Gujarat Chief Minister had been placed on a U.S. visa ban below the 1998 U.S. Worldwide Non secular Freedom Act (IRFA), after a suggestion from the USCIRF that had criticised his position within the 2002 Gujarat riots.

Mr. Bagchi additionally expressed shock at a current remark by U.S. State Division spokesperson Vedant Patel on November 18 on the difficulty of the U.S. visa ban. Mr. Patel had stated, in response to a variety of questions from the U.S. press corps over the Biden administration’s resolution to provide Saudi Prince Mohammed immunity in the Jamal Khashoggi murder case, given his new position as head of the Saudi authorities, that the U.S. has given similiar immunity to Mr. Modi and a variety of different leaders like former Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, former Congolese President Laurent Kabila and former Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. “I fail to grasp how [the State Department’s] touch upon PM Modi was both vital, related or contextual. Our two nations get pleasure from a really particular relationship that’s going from energy to energy, and we look ahead to deepening it,” he stated.

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