US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who is on a two-day visit to Delhi, today said the US and India should “stand up for religious freedom”.
In his India policy speech at the India International Centre, Mr Pompeo said: “India is the birthplace of four major world religions. Let’s stand up and defend religious freedom for all. Let’s speak up strongly together in favour of those rights. For whenever we do compromise those rights, the world is worse off.”
The “Report on International Religious Freedom 2018“, available on the website of the US State Department, alleged that the “authorities often failed to prosecute perpetrators of ‘cow vigilante’ attacks, which included killings, mob violence, and intimidation”, a charge that the government denied.
“India is more and more standing up on the world stage and the US welcomes its assertiveness,” Pompeo said. He hailed Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Donald Trump, saying they are leaders who aren’t scared to take risks and the two countries are poised to do “incredible things together”.
The Foreign ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said on Sunday that India sees no credibility in a “foreign entity or government” pronouncing “on the state of our citizens’ constitutionally protected rights”.
“India is proud of its secular credentials, its status as the largest democracy and a pluralistic society with a longstanding commitment to tolerance and inclusion,” Kumar said and later added that the Constitution “guarantees fundamental rights to all its citizens, including its minority communities”.