India Proud of Its Achievements: Govt as Blinken Likely to Raise Rights Issues
US Secretary of State Blinken will reportedly raise the issues of human rights and democracy during his Delhi visit.
A day after a Biden administration representative indicated that Secretary of State Antony Blinken would raise the concerns of civil rights and democracy during his New Delhi visit, the Government of India on Sunday, 25 July, stated that India is proud of its achievements in the domains of human rights and democratic values.
"Issues such as human rights and democracy are universal and extend beyond a particular national or cultural perspective. India is proud of its achievements in both domains and is always glad to share experiences," a government source told news agency PTI.
"As a long-standing pluralistic society, India is open to engaging those who now recognise the value of diversity," they added.
Blinken's Visit to India
Blinken, who is scheduled to reach the national capital on Tuesday, will meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Foreign Minister S Jaishankar, as well as National Security Advisor Ajit Doval on Wednesday.
Speaking about the agenda of the visit, Acting Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs Dean Thompson said, "With respect to the human rights and democracy question, yes, you're right; I will tell you that we will raise it, and we will continue that conversation, because we firmly believe that we have more values in common on those fronts than we don't."
"We believe India is going to be a really important part of continuing those conversations and building strong efforts on those fronts in partnership as we go forward," he added, PTI reported.
The visit is expected to lay the groundwork for the first in-person Quad (a grouping of India, Japan, Australia and the US) conference to be held later this year.
Blinken will also be discussing Indo-pacific engagement, shared regional security interests, and climate crisis with the Indian government, news agency Reuters reported.
The discussions on security are likely to cover the fallout of the impending withdrawal of the US troops from Afghanistan, and the need to pressure Pakistan on the issue of terror financing, Hindustan Times reported.
Sources in India indicated that global issues such political and cultural rebalancing will also be discussed with the envoy.
'Use of Spyware Against Civil Society, Journos Concerning': US on Pegasus Row
Amid a series of reports that evince the use of Pegasus spyware against Indian journalists, activists, as well as world leaders, the United States, on 23 July marked its concern over the alleged snooping operation.
"The whole notion of using this type of technology against civil society, or regime critics, or journalists, or anybody like that through extrajudicial means is always concerning," Thompson told reporters during a press conference on Friday, PTI reported.
Questioned about the Pegasus reports in India, the Biden administration representative said, "We – I don't have any particular special insights into the India case," PTI reported.
(With inputs from PTI, Reuters, and Hindustan Times)
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