New Delhi: After holding discussions with Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, the US Secretary of Defence held talks with Foreign Minister S Jaishankar. Afghanistan and Indo-Pacific issues were central to the discussions between the two leaders. But the US Secretary of Defence told the media that he raised the issue of human rights during the meetings with the Indian leaders. Reports have been published that the Indian officials gave their reaction regarding this. As per the received information, the Indian officials said that the issue of human rights did not feature in the discussions between the Indian and the US Secretary of State.
After the Indian visit, the US Secretary of Defence proceeded to visit Afghanistan. Secretary of State Lloyd Austin held detailed discussions regarding the situation in Afghanistan during his India visit. The issue of the Indo-Pacific sector also was an important point of discussion in the meetings. The US Secretary of State announced that the Indo-Pacific was the issue at the centre of discussions with Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh. The US Secretary of State assured after the discussions that the US administration is keen on strengthening cooperation with India on all levels. This administration will give the highest importance to India’s relations.
But the US Secretary of State said that the issue of human rights featured in the discussions with the Indian leaders. He said he could not raise the issue of human rights while talking to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, but this issue was raised during the discussions with the other Indian leaders. The US Secretary of State said that there is the freedom to hold open discussions between partner countries. But the US Secretary of State did not reveal whether the discussions included the said accusations being levelled against India regarding human rights violations. Secretary of State, Lloyd Austin, has taken proper precaution that no reaction is elicited from the Indian leaders. At the same time, Austin can claim that he fulfilled the demand of US Senators to raise the human rights issues with the Indian leaders.
During the bilateral meeting between the United States and China in Alaska a few days ago, the US Secretary of State had very aggressively raised the trampling of human rights by China. Reports of verbal clashes between the United States and China during the meeting also had been published. Thereafter, some US senators demanded that similar pressure be exerted even on India on the human rights issue.
But India has already delivered a message that India will not tolerate lectures by the western countries on issues like democracy and human rights. Groups of leaders and media from western countries are trying to corner India on human rights, completely ignoring countries blatantly trampling human rights. The Indian Foreign Minister had recently clarified that India does not attach any importance to it. The media claimed that some officials clarified that the issue of human rights did not feature during the discussions between the US Secretary of Defence and the Indian leaders. But US Secretary of State is apparently creating a picture that he has fulfilled the US senators’ demand making claims regarding this.