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US envoy on religious freedom discusses triple talaq, Uniform Civil Code with Naqvi

New Delhi:A top US diplomat on international religious freedom on Tuesday discussed issues concerning minority rights in India including ‘triple talaq’ and Uniform Civil Code during his meeting with Minority Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi here.

US Ambassador at Large for Religious Freedom David Saperstein, who is currently visiting India, also met Munu Mahawar, Joint Secretary (Americas) in the External Affairs Ministry apart from interacting with some minority leaders.

“Saperstein was here to attend a private event and, on the sidelines of the event, he had sought some meetings, which were arranged for him,” official sources said.

During his meeting with Naqvi, another source said, the US diplomat talked about various reports which mentioned change in the reservation policy vis-a-vis minorities by the Modi government.

“Not only was he told about the various initiatives taken by the government for the rights and upliftment of minorities, it was also conveyed to him that these reports don’t present factual position in India,” the source said, adding the issues including ‘triple talaq’ and UCC were also discussed.

In its report in May, US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) had said that India was on a “negative trajectory” in 2015 as far as religious freedom was concerned as religious tolerance “deteriorated”.

Debunking the report, India had said it does not see the locus standi of a foreign entity like USCIRF to pronounce on the state of Indian citizens’ constitutionally protected rights and it takes “no cognisance” of their report.

On his interactions with minority community leaders, Saperstein, who will also visit Mumbai and Bengaluru, tweeted, “Had deeply meaningful conversations with community leaders on religious life in #India. Appreciate their insights.

“Visited the #Sikh community with DAS Manpreet Anand at the Bangla Sahib Gurudwara, New Delhi, #India.”