Ahead of US envoy Nancy Powell’s meeting with Narendra Modi, External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid on Tuesday hoped America will apply with regard to the Gujarat Chief Minister the standards consistent with its policies in dealing with issues like human rights.
Holding that the US was free to interact with Modi, Khurshid, however, said “there are lot of things that they will not and we should not put behind.”
Khurshid hoped Americans, Europeans and other countries would apply standards consistent with their policies in dealing with issues of human rights.
He said that in the past, India was lectured by a number of countries on human rights and it would be interesting to “know what Powell tells Modi.”
“He is not the example that should be seen as an Indian. We are a country that believes in Gandhian way of life, compassion, service without recognition and none of these terms applies to Modi,” he said.
Meanwhile, External Affairs spokesman Syed Akbaruddin said it was normal for foreign embassies to make a request for facilitating meetings with “constitutionally-elected functionaries” of India.
“The request was made quite sometime back and the MEA said they could proceed with the meeting with the constitutionally-elected functionary. It is a normal courtesy extended to all the heads of missions,” he said.
Asked how he saw the upcoming meeting, the spokesman said “we consider the meeting between the Ambassador of a country, which has friendly relations with India, and a constitutionally-elected functionary of a state,” he said.
Signalling an end to nine years of boycott of Modi in the aftermath of post-Godhra riots, Powell is meeting the Gujarat Chief Minister on Thursday in Gandhinagar.
Khurshid said “as far as any other country treating him or for that matter any other political party dealing with him, everything has to be done on merit.
Former Apple executive and Dwarka MLA Adarsh Shastri has also been included in the spokespersons’ list.