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WASHINGTON: A US government panel renewed calls Monday to blacklist India over religious freedom, saying that treatment of minorities has continued to worsen under Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The US Commission on International Religious Freedom offers recommendations but does not set policy and there is little expectation that the State Department will accept its stance on India, a growing US partner.

The State Department each year lists countries where it sees particular concern on religious freedom, with the prospect of sanctions without improvement.

US says some Indian officials support religious attacks

The independent commission, whose members are appointed by the president and congressional party leaders, supported all of the State Department’s latest designations which included China, Iran, Myanmar, Pakistan, Russia and Saudi Arabia.

It however recommended that the State Department add several countries including India, Nigeria and Vietnam.

The annual report pointed in India to violence and destruction of property targeting Muslims and Christians and drew links to comments and social media posts by members of Modi’s Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

“The continued enforcement of discriminatory laws facilitated a culture of impunity for widespread campaigns of threats and violence by mobs and vigilante groups,” it said.

It was the fourth straight year that the panel has made the recommendation on India, angering New Delhi which has called the commission biased.

The State Department briefly blacklisted Nigeria at the end of Donald Trump’s presidency following calls from evangelical Christians, but President Joe Biden’s administration removed it, rejecting suggestions of violence in Africa’s most populous country being religious-based or abetted by the government.

The commission also recommended that the State Department add a number of US partners to a watch list of countries that risked being blacklisted without improvements including Egypt, Indonesia and Turkey.

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Tulukan Mairandi May 02, 2023 06:47am
Pakistan along with Iron Brother China and sisterly Saudi Arabia are in the henious blacklist.
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Yogesh (India) May 02, 2023 09:27am
India is happy with new found Russian oil Enjoy...
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Rizwan May 02, 2023 10:47am
It's laughable! the concept of religious freedom, human rights, minority rights and the list of rights goes on and on, is a weapon that West developed to use when necessary against it's opponents. Countries like Saudi Arabia, and other oil rich gulf countries with worst human rights records and India are of interest to them so these hypocrites won't use it against them. But they'd for sure use it against Iran or any other country which is not their puppet.
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Galanta May 02, 2023 02:16pm
@TulukanMairandi your comments boring and re/tarded. I think you should give up now lol
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