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3/14/2015

AllowustovisitIndia:panelonreligiousfreedomTheHindu

Today'sPaperINTERNATIONAL
AllowustovisitIndia:panelonreligiousfreedom
NarayanLakshman
NotallquestionshavebeenfullyansweredaboutGujaratevents:KatrinaLantosSwett

ThechairofahighprofileCongressionalcommissiononreligiousfreedomhasaskedtheIndiangovernmentto
reconsideritsviewtowithholdpermissionforthecommissionmemberstovisitthecountrytoassessthestateof
religioustolerance.
InaninterviewwithTheHindu,KatrinaLantosSwett,ChairpersonoftheU.S.CongressestablishedCommissionon
ReligiousFreedom(USCIRF),said,IwouldalsosaythatwewouldreallywelcometheopportunitytotraveltoIndia
andwevebeensaddenedthatuntilnowIndiahasnotbeenyetreadytowelcomeaUSCIRFdelegationtocomefora
visit.
UnderherleadershipandCongressionalmandate,theUSCIRFcontinuestoproduceanannualreportonthestateof
religiousfreedomworldwide,whichinyearspasthaddesignatedIndiaasaTierIIorwatchlistcountry.
Dr.LantosSwettscommentsaresignificantinthecontextoftworecentoccasionsonwhichU.S.PresidentBarack
ObamahasremarkeduponthedangersofreligiousintoleranceforIndia,aviewthatPrimeMinisterNarendraModi
appearedtocogniseinFebruary,whenhecondemnedreligiousbasedviolentactsinthecountry.
OnthoseremarksbyMr.Obama,Dr.LantosSwettappearedtodifferfromStateDepartmentofficialswhosuggested
thatthePresidentdidnotspecificallyintendtocritiqueIndiasreligioustoleranceandthatitwasageneral
observation.
TheCommissionersaidthatshedidnotbelievethattherecentmeetingsbetweenMr.ObamaandMr.Modiwereany
indicationthatU.S.concernsasacountryregardingreligiousfreedomissuesinIndiahadgoneaway,ratherthatthe
WhiteHouseaspiredtobeingabletospeakoutaboutconcernsthatexistwithrespecttotherobustprotectionof
religiousfreedominIndia,evenasthebilateralrapprochementdeepenssimultaneously.
ThefullinterviewisavailableonTheHinduswebsiteathttp://thne.ws/1BCqTfR

http://www.thehindu.com/todayspaper/tpinternational/allowustovisitindiapanelonreligiousfreedom/article6992137.ece

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