India rejects US govt. report on religious freedom
New Delhi, June 11 (PTI): India on Thursday rejected a US government report that voiced concerns over alleged attacks and discrimination against religious and ethnic minorities in the country.
“Our principled position remains that we see no locus standi for a foreign entity to pronounce on the state of our citizens’ constitutionally protected rights,” Spokesperson in the Ministry of External Affairs Anurag Srivastava said.
He was replying to a question on the report at an online media briefing.
Mandated by the US Congress, the ‘2019 International Religious Freedom Report’ that documents major instances of violation of religious freedom across the world was released by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday.
“India’s vibrant democratic traditions and practices are evident to the world. The people and government of India are proud of our country’s democratic traditions,” the spokesperson said.
“We have a robust public discourse in India and constitutionally mandated institutions that guarantee protection of religious freedom and rule of law,” he added.
The India section of the report said that US government officials underscored the importance of respecting religious freedom and promoting tolerance and mutual respect throughout the year with the ruling and opposition parties, civil society and religious freedom activists, and religious leaders belonging to various faith communities.
The report referred to the revocation of the special status of Jammu and Kashmir last August and the passage of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) in Parliament in December as major highlights for India last year.