On Thursday, India denounced a report by the United States government that raised 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 in response to a question on the report at an online media briefing.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday released the ‘2019 International Religious Freedom Report’ that documents major instances of the violation of religious freedom across the world.
In its Indian section, the report read that government officials from the US highlighted the significance of respecting religious freedom, promoting tolerance and mutual respect with the ruling and opposition parties and religious leaders belonging to various communities.
While talking to various government officials, media, interfaith harmony organizations and NGOs, US officials emphasised the need to address the legitimate concerns of the country’s religious minorities, condemn communal rhetoric, and ensure full protection of minorities, it said.
“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 US report also mentioned the revocation of the special status of Jammu and Kashmir in August and the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) that caused widespread protests across the country.
“The report is published annually by the department of state as part of its legal requirement to the US Congress and is an internal document of the US government,” Srivastava said.