New Delhi, June 26 : US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo on Wednesday pitched for the “defence of religious freedom for all”, days after a report published by his ministry made critical remarks over the status of minorities in India.
At the same time, he hailed the rule of law prevailing in India, like in the US, and said both the countries believe in it.
“India is the birth place of four major religions of the world. Let us stand up together for defence of religious freedom for all. Let’s speak out strongly together in favour of those rights, for whenever we do compromise those rights, the world is worse off,” he said while delivering a speech here.
A few days back, the US State Department, in its annual 2018 ‘International Religious Freedom Report’, said: “Mob attacks by violent extremist Hindu groups against minority communities, especially Muslims, continued throughout the year amid rumours that victims had traded or killed cows for beef.”
India rejected the observations, saying the “foreign entity/government” had “no locus standi to pronounce on the state of our citizens’ constitutionally protected rights”.
In his speech, Pompeo said both India and the US “protect inalienable rights” of their people.
Also referring to the Lok Sabha elections, he hailed the democratic exercise, saying “imagine if every country had the voice which Indian people recently expressed”.
He said India and the US “should see the world as it is and see each other what we are — great democracies, global powers and good friends”.