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9 May, 2024 11:08

US interfering in India’s internal affairs – Moscow

Russia has blasted Washington’s “unfounded accusations” that New Delhi is violating religious freedoms
US interfering in India’s internal affairs – Moscow

Washington desires to “unbalance” India’s domestic politics in order to complicate the ongoing parliamentary elections, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said at a media briefing on Wednesday. 

She called US criticism of New Delhi over alleged violations of religious freedom “regular unfounded accusations” that reflect a “misunderstanding” of India’s national mentality, the historical context and “disrespect for India as a state.” 

“I am sure that this comes from the neocolonial mentality, the mentality of the colonial period, the period of the slave trade, imperialism,” Zakharova noted.  

In answering a question about a recent Washington Post report that placed India together with “other repressive regimes” that, according to the outlet, include China, Russia, Iran, and Saudi Arabia, she said “it is difficult to come up with a more repressive regime than Washington, both in domestic and international affairs.” 

Asked to comment on US accusations of Indian involvement in the assassination attempt of Sikh separatist activist Gurpatwant Singh Pannun in New York, she said that Washington has not yet provided any “reliable evidence” that Indian citizens were involved. “Speculation on this topic in the absence of evidence is unacceptable.” 

The Washington Post report last month identified the Indian agent alleged to have orchestrated the assassination attempt on Pannun as Vikram Yadav, an officer attached to the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) of India’s foreign intelligence service. Pannun, a prominent supporter of the Khalistan movement which seeks to carve out a nation-state for the Sikhs from India, is designated a terrorist by the Indian government. New Delhi slammed the Washington Post report as “speculative and irresponsible.”   

Moscow’s statement also comes days after the US State Department claimed in its Human Rights report for 2023 that “significant abuses” had occurred in the Indian state of Manipur last year and that attacks on minorities, journalists, and dissenting voices had been recorded elsewhere in the country. New Delhi issued a strong rebuttal and claimed the report depicted a “very poor understanding of India. 

The Indian Foreign Ministry has also hit out at the Western media’s critical coverage of the country’s system of democracy during voting to elect the next government. “If [Western media] criticize our democracy, it is not because they lack information,” Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar recently claimed. “It is because they also think they are political players in our election.”

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