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India in pursuit of sectarian, divisive political goals: Menon

India in pursuit of sectarian, divisive political goals: Menon

NEW DELHI: Shivshankar Menon, Diplomat and Ex-National Security Adviser (NSA) of India expressed concern over India being increasingly isolated and losing international support.

This is because of the recent moves like abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir and passing of the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the strikes and demonstrations that followed it

Critical voices

Saying that voices are being raised internationally against the situation in India, Menon notes that severe criticism came in from several countries and foreign media. He points out that U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights has condemned CAA calling it fundamentally discriminatory in nature.

Describing it as a cumulative effect of the series of actions, he recalls that UNHCHR had also expressed extreme concern over lockdown in Kashmir.

Menon also maintains that the resolution tabled by the Indian-American Democratic Congresswomen Pramila Jayapal in US House on easing restrictions in Kashmir in December last year has 29 co-sponsors including Republicans.

India violating International Commitments

Asserting that all the knowledgeable persons he spoke with agreed that India seems to be in violation of international commitments.

Menon quoted Article 2.1. of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which India is party to, says: “Each State Party to the present Covenant undertakes to respect and to ensure to all individuals within its territory and subject to its jurisdiction the rights recognized in the present Covenant, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.”

Saying that it applies to all, not only citizens, the diplomat observes that CAA is trying to discriminate on the grounds of national origin.

Global Impact

Ex-NSA claims that global public opinion on India has shifted in the last few months and even “our friends internationally have been taken aback.”

India’s image has emerged as a religiously driven, intolerant state, he adds. He laments: “We have gifted our adversaries platforms from which to attack us.”

Highlighting the adverse effects of the move taken by the government Menon says, seven countries have issued travel warnings against India.

The diplomat deplores: ‘India seems to be in pursuit of sectarian, divisive and party political goals.’ He maintains that as more than half our GDP is the external sector, what the world thinks matters more now than ever before. We depend on the world for several things.

Warning India of the grave consequences, Menon says, disengagement, going it alone or to cut ourselves and isolate us can lead to no good end.

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