India’s External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar is expected to clarify the government’s take on the Citizenship (Amendment) Act to his American counterpart, Mike Pompeo during their meeting on Wednesday.
Jaishankar is likely to convey what has been said in the Parliament, especially that the new law does not apply to Indian citizens but it is only meant for the persecuted minorities from the three neighboring countries – Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan.
However, it is believed by some that the discussion may not be the end of conversation over the C(A)A with the perpetual reactions emitting from the US since the passage of the bill in the Rajya Sabha.
The External Affairs Minister will be meeting Pompeo for the Indo-US dialogue on issues ranging from the operationalisation of the Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA), defense cooperation and regional security.
It may be mentioned here that on December 14, US Ambassador Sam Brownback tweeted, “One of #India’s great strengths is its constitution. As a fellow democracy, we respect India’s institutions but are concerned about the implications of the #CABBill. We hope that the government will abide by its constitutional commitments, including on religious freedom”. Brownback’s tweet was responded by the US State Department’s Bureau of Central and South Asia.
Earlier, the US House Foreign Affairs Committee, on December 10, had tweeted, “Religious pluralism is central to the foundations of both India and the United States and is one of our cored shared values. Any religious test for citizenship undermines this most basic democratic tenet.”
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