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'We too have concerns about human rights in the US': EAM Jaishankar hits back to US Secy Blinken's remark on Human rights in India

Source : ABP News

'We too have concerns about human rights in the US': EAM Jaishankar hits back to US Secy Blinken's remark on Human rights in India
External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar speaks during a news conference (PTI Photo)


New Delhi: Hitting out at the US over human rights issues in India, external affairs minister S Jaishankar on Wednesday said India was entitled "to have views about their (US) views and the interests and the lobbies and the vote banks which drives that."

Addressing a joint press conference after the 2+2 dialogue, Jaishankar noted that the human rights issue has come up in the past.

"No, we did not discuss human rights during this meeting. This meeting was primarily focussed on political and military affairs," he added as per the news agency ANI report.

However, the minister countered the US views on human rights saying, “India also takes a view on other people's human rights situation, including that of the United States and raises matters concerning the Indian community."

The statement from Jaishankar comes after Secretary of State Antony Blinken had earlier 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.

"It (human rights) is a subject which has come up in the past. It came up when Secretary Blinken came to India, and 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," Jaishankar added, according to the report.

"People are entitled to have views about us, but we are also equally entitled to have views about their views and the interests and the lobbies and the vote banks which drive that," he added.

Noting that India takes up human rights issues with the US, especially if they pertain to the Indian community, he said, "We also take views on other people's human rights situation, including that of the United States, so we take up human rights issues when they arise in this country (the US), especially when it pertains to our community."

Meanwhile, two Sikh men were attacked in the New York borough of Queens on Tuesday, less than two weeks after another Sikh man was assaulted in the same neighbourhood, authorities said.

On Monday, Blinken said India and the US share a commitment to democratic values, such as protecting human rights.

"We regularly engage with our Indian partners on these shared values and to that end, we are monitoring some recent concerning developments in India including a rise in human rights abuses by some government, police and prison officials," he had said.

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