Talking to reporters after visiting the media centre at the Kuala Lumpur Summit on Friday, the Malaysian PM said, “I am sorry to see that India, which claims to be a secular state, is now taking action to deprive some Muslims of their citizenship.”
Responding Wednesday in Delhi to a question on the protests at Jamia Millia Islamia, Stephane Dujarric, the UN chief’s spokesperson, said: “We very much call for restraint and urge full respect for the rights of freedom of opinion and expression and peaceful assembly.”
China had earlier managed to hold informal closed-door consultations on Kashmir in the UNSC on August 16, 11 days after India revoked the special status of Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 on August 5.
It also sets the stage and tone for the 2+2 ministerial dialogue between two sides on Wednesday in Washington DC — External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh with their American counterparts, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defence Secretary Mark T Esper.
Protesting against these incidents, Bangladesh’s Acting Foreign Secretary Kamrul Ahsan, in a rare move, summoned Indian High Commissioner to Bangladesh Riva Ganguly Das at the Bangladesh Foreign Ministry on Thursday evening and requested extra security for the mission.
Abe, who was scheduled to arrive on Sunday for a three-day visit (December 15-17), was expected to travel to Guwahati for the meeting. But with the ongoing protests in the region, the situation was considered “not conducive” for a “high-profile visit”.
The US House Foreign Affairs Committee had voiced concerns over the Bill, noting that any religious test for citizenship undermines pluralism, which is one of the core shared values for both India and the US.
Another venue which was being considered was Odisha, but that is unlikely to happen since it is too short a notice. Sources said the visit would have to be postponed if the meeting was to be held in Odisha.
The US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), an advisory body for the US Congress, took a harder line and called for sanctions against Union Home Minister Amit Shah and other leaders, if the Bill is passed.
The USCIRF is an advisory or a consultative body, which advises the US Congress and the administration on issues pertaining to international religious freedom. Why has it said it is “deeply troubled” by the passage of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in Lok Sabha?
During the meeting between the visiting Japanese ministers and the Prime Minister on November 30, Modi had said that both he and Abe attach great importance to strengthening the bilateral partnership between the two