Jaishankar Hits Back At Blinken Over Human Rights Comment

| Updated: 14 April, 2022 4:42 pm IST

NEW DELHI: A day after Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the US was monitoring “human rights abuses” in India, External Affairs Minister Dr. S Jaishankar, in a sharp response, said India is also “equally entitled” to have views on the human rights situation in the US.

At a joint press conference after the 2+2 dialogue on Monday, Blinekn said that the US was monitoring “human rights abuses” and called the developments from India “concerning”.

In response, Dr Jaishankar on Wednesday said that “people” are entitled to have views about India and “we are also equally entitled to have views about their views”.

“Look, people are entitled to have views about us. But we are also equally entitled to have views about their views and about the interests, and the lobbies and the vote banks which drive that. So, whenever there is a discussion, I can tell you that we will not be reticent about speaking out,” he told media persons in Washington DC.

He further said, “I would also tell you that we also take our views on other people’s human rights situation, including that of the United States. So, we take up human rights issues when they arise in this country, especially when they pertain to our community.”

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Foreign Minister Dr. S Jaishankar held the discussions under the 2+2 format with US Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin and Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Monday.

During the dialogue, Washington emphasized India-US defence ties and accused China of undermining the sovereignty of the neighbours, and underscored strong defence ties with its strategic partner India.

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