Despite repeated questions from the US State Department for criticizing Prime Minister Narendra Modi over a recent BBC documentary on Gujarat, the United States (US) has refused to wade into the controversy or comment on the matter. have done, and have chosen this instead. Highlight the close relationship between the two countries, especially on shared values.
Separately, while expressing its desire to see regional peace and stability in South Asia, the State Department also said that the “pace, scope and character” of talks between India and Pakistan will be decided by both countries.
At a routine press briefing on Monday, when a journalist from a Pakistani publication referred to a BBC documentary on the 2002 Gujarat riots and said he was “sorry” that no US official had yet criticized Modi, State Department spokesman Ned Price said he was not aware of that. Documentary film
“What I will say is that there are many elements to the global strategic partnership that we have with our Indian partners. The United States and India have close political ties, economic ties, extraordinarily people-to-people ties. There is a deep bond between peoples. But one of those additional elements is the values that we share, the values that are common to American democracy and Indian democracy,” he said.
India is the world’s largest democracy, and a dynamic one, Price said. “We look at everything that connects us, and we try to strengthen all the elements that bind us together.”
When the journalist insistently asked how the US officials deployed to Gujarat in 2002 did not know that the violence allegedly took place under Modi (who was the state’s chief minister at the time), Price repeated that he had learned from the documentary. Not familiar.
“I am very aware of the shared values that bind the United States and India as two thriving, vibrant democracies. When we have concerns about actions being taken in India, we have raised them. There is an opportunity to do that, but we want to first reinforce the values that are at the heart of our relationship.
Asked, somewhat vaguely, if “such a foreign policy” affected President Joe Biden’s Indian voters, Price said he didn’t think of it in those terms. “I don’t think about domestic politics, and neither does anyone in this building.”
In response to a separate question on Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s comments on peace talks with India, Price said the US has long emphasized “regional stability in South Asia”.
“That’s certainly what we want to see. We want to see that developed. When it comes to our partnership – our partnership with India and Pakistan – these are relationships that stand on their own. are not seen as zero sum. They stand on their own.”
Regarding the talks itself, Price said, “The pace, the scope, the character of any talks between India and Pakistan is a matter for those two countries, India and Pakistan.” This is in line with India’s position that the New Delhi-Islamabad relationship is a bilateral issue in all its dimensions.