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India keeps its views on human rights situation in US: Jaishankar

By wasmulhaq 
Updated Date

India and the United States are at odds over a number of contentious issues, including the threat of sanctions for human rights.

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At the India-US 2+2 ministerial meeting this week, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said that the human rights issue was not a topic of discussion. However, EAM Jaishankar asserted that whenever there is a discussion, New Delhi will not be reticent about speaking out.

Taking a strong stand, EAM Jaishankar said that people are entitled to have views about India, adding, “We also take our views on other people’s human rights situations, including that of the United States.”

US monitors India’s recent developments

Earlier, Secretary of State Antony Blinken had said that the US is monitoring some recent “concerning developments” in India, including a rise in human rights abuses by some government, police, and prison officials. The joint news conference after the 2+2 dialogue was addressed by Blinken, Jaishankar, Singh, and US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin.

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Responding to a question, EAM Jaishankar said while the issue of human rights was not discussed during the current meeting, it has come up in the past.

EAM Jaishankar stated, “On the human rights issue; no, we did not discuss human rights during this meeting. This meeting was primarily focused on political-military affairs.

It is a subject that has come up in the past. It came up when Secretary Blinken came to India. I think if you recall the press briefings after that, I was very open about the fact that we had discussed it and said what I had to say, “S. Jaishankar said.

Pushing back at the US criticism of human rights in India, EAM Jaishankar stated that people are entitled to have views about India, adding that lobbies and vote banks drive such criticism.

People are entitled to have views about us. But we are also equally entitled to have views about their views and about the interests, lobbies, and vote banks that drive them. So, whenever there is a discussion, I can tell you that we will not be reticent about speaking out, “he said.

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“I would tell you that we also take our views on other people’s human rights situations, including that of the United States. So, we take up human rights issues when they arise in this country, especially when they pertain to our community. And in fact, we had a case yesterday that’s really where we stand on that, “he said.

Russia-Ukraine conflict

India and China agree that dialogue is the only way out of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, foreign minister S Jaishankar said, adding that Americans “obviously” distinguish and differentiate between India and China when it comes to the stands taken by the two countries on Russia amid a raging war

If you’re asking me how we look at the unfolding developments in Ukraine, I had Minister Wang Yi come to India last month. We shared our respective analyses. But we agreed and still agree that the way out is through dialogue and the cessation of hostilities will be a necessary first step, “the foreign minister said.

You’re asking me, do the Americans distinguish and differentiate between India and China (over their respective stands on Russia amid the Ukraine crisis)? Obviously, they do, “S Jaishankar said when asked if the US clearly understands the reasons behind China’s and India’s respective stands on Russia.

The minister, who is in Washington for the Biden administration’s maiden India-US 2+2 dialogue, held a series of high-level meetings and said that a lot of time was invested in discussing the Ukraine crisis.

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India presented its perspective clearly and “the two countries discussed the energy crisis, food security and humanitarian assistance to Kyiv,” he said.

“Obviously, a lot of our time went to discussions on Ukraine. There was discussion about the US perspective, their analysis, and their sense of what is likely to happen. The conflict and diplomacy involved in it, peace talks, and progress were one set of issues that came up, “he said.

“We spoke about the humanitarian situation (in Ukraine) and what different countries are doing. We gave 90 tonnes of relief material in the month of March. But right now, the focus is more on the supply of medicines, “Jaishankar told reporters on the sidelines of the dialogues.”

Other than Ukraine, we spent a fair amount of time in the Indo-Pacific region, reviewing the progress so far. We are preparing for the next Quad summit, “Jaishankar said.” “

At the press conference, the Indian ambassador to the US, Taranjit Singh Sandhu, also joined.

 

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