'Vote Bank Politics In International Relations': India Slams US Report On Religious Freedom

India's Ministry of External Affairs on Friday lashed out at the United States for its report on international religious freedom, saying that "such biased views should be avoided".

By Subhasish Dutta
Fri, 03 Jun 2022 05:08 PM IST
Minute Read
'Vote Bank Politics In International Relations': India Slams US Report On Religious Freedom
Reuters Image used for representation purpose only.

New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: The Indian government on Friday strongly reacted to the US State Department 2021 report on international religious freedom, calling it "ill-informed". The Ministry of External Affairs, in a press release, also said that it was "unfortunate that vote bank politics is being practiced in international relations".

"We have noted the release of the US State Department 2021 Report on International Religious Freedom, and ill-informed comments by senior US officials. It is unfortunate that vote bank politics is being practiced in international relations. We would urge that assessments based on motivated inputs and biased views be avoided," said foreign ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi.

The US, in a report on religious freedom globally in 2021, alleged that "attacks on members of religious minority communities, including killings, assaults, and intimidation, had occurred throughout last year in India".

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the report showed religious freedom and the rights of religious minorities were under threat around the world.

"For example, in India, the world's largest democracy and home to a great diversity of faiths, we've seen rising attacks on people and places of worship," Blinken said.

Rashad Hussain, who leads the U.S. State Department's efforts to monitor religious freedom around the world, said some Indian officials were "ignoring or even supporting rising attacks on people and places of worship".

"As a naturally pluralistic society, India values religious freedom and human rights. In our discussions with the US, we have regularly highlighted issues of concern there, including racially and ethnically motivated attacks, hate crimes and gun violence," Bagchi added.

Meanwhile, US President Joe Biden on Thursday called on Congress to ban assault weapons, expand background checks and implement other gun control measures to address a string of mass shootings that have struck the United States.

Speaking from the White House, in a speech broadcast live in primetime, Biden asked a country stunned by the recent shootings at a school in Texas, a grocery store in New York and a medical building in Oklahoma, how many more lives it would take to change gun laws in America.

"For God's sake, how much more carnage are we willing to accept?" Biden asked.

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