Asia

US defers to ‘robust debate’ inside democratic India on Citizenship Act

WASHINGTON: The United States on Wednesday deferred to what it called a “robust debate” inside a democratic India on the controversial Citizenship Act while maintaining it cares deeply about protecting minorities and religious rights everywhere.
Asked about the religion-specific legislation that has resulted in some disquiet and unrest across India and attracted criticism from many quarters, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the US cares deeply and always will about protecting minorities and religious rights, but “we honor Indian democracy as they have a robust debate inside India on the issue.”
“The United States will be consistent in the way that we respond to these issues, not only in India, but all across the world,” Pompeo said in remarks to the media following the 2+2 dialogue between US and India, which he said was focused on enhancing ties between the two countries despite all the "noise and chaos" around, including the impeachment process in Washington DC which was going on during the talks.
External affairs minister S Jaishankar too skirted the issue of purported religious exclusivism which critics say inherent in the legislation, saying it is a “measure designed to address the needs of persecuted religious minorities from certain countries.”
“If you look at what those countries are, and therefore what the minorities are, perhaps can get you to understand why certain religions were identified in terms of characterizing those who had come across,” he explained.
The Trump administration has shown considerable forbearance towards the Modi governments moves of what its supporters say are strengthening the union of India and its critics argue is resulting in diminution of the countrys secular ethos.
There has been mild and circumspect criticism about the civil liberties and human rights aspects, but both with regards to the developments in Kashmir and now with regards to the CAA, Washington has been undemonstratively supportive, suggesting tRead More – Source

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