- India reacted strongly against a report released by US State Department on religious freedom.
- 'It is unfortunate that "vote bank politics is being practiced in international relations": MEA
- India values religious freedom and human rights, MEA spokesperson Bagchi clarified.
India on Friday reacted strongly to the US report on attacks on minorities in the country, saying "it is unfortunate that vote bank politics is being practised in international relations".
External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said that the assessments in the report were based on "motivated inputs and biased views" and sought to highlight the rising gun violence in America.
"We have noted the release of the US State Department 2021 report on International Religious Freedom, and ill-informed comments by senior US officials," Bagchi said.
"It is unfortunate that vote bank politics is being practiced in international relations. We would urge that assessments based on motivated inputs and biased views be avoided," he said, adding that "as a naturally pluralistic society, India values religious freedom and human rights".
Drawing attention to the gun violence's rising toll in the US, he said, "In our discussions with the US, we have regularly highlighted issues of concern there, including racially and ethnically motivated attacks, hate crimes, and gun violence."
The US State Department's annual report to the Congress on international religious freedom was released by Secretary of State Antony Blinken. The report gives its own perspective on the status and violations of religious freedom across the globe and has separate chapters on each of the countries.
India previously rejected the US religious freedom report, saying it sees no locus standi for a foreign government to pronounce on the state of its citizens' constitutionally protected rights.