New Delhi, January 24
The US has distanced itself from the BBC’s controversial series on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying it’s not familiar with the documentary, but very familiar with the shared values that connects Washington and New Delhi as two thriving, vibrant democracies.
“When we have concerns about actions that are taken in India, we’ve voiced those. We’ve had an occasion to do that. But we want first and foremost to reinforce those values that are at the heart of our relationship,” said US State Department spokesperson Ned Price. The India-US relationship is multifaceted. There are close political and economic ties besides the “exceptionally deep people-to-people ties”, he said.
Asked if the documentary could lead to people of Indian origin voting against Joe Biden in the next US Presidential polls, Price said, “We don’t think about it through those terms. I don’t think about domestic politics, and neither does anyone in this building.”
He also said while Washington had for long urged regional stability in South Asia, the pace, scope and the character of any dialogue between India and Pakistan was a matter between the two countries.
Asked about India allegedly rejecting Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s “offer” for peace talks with India, Price said Washington would certainly want to see regional stability in South Asia. “We want to see it advance. When it comes to our partnership with India and Pakistan, these are relationships that stand on their own. We do not see these relationships as zero-sum. They stand on their own,” he added.
The India-US relationship is multifaceted. There are close political and economic ties, besides the exceptionally deep people-to-people ties.
Independent ties with India, Pak
When it comes to our partnership with India and Pakistan, these are relationships that stand on their own. We do not see these relationships as zero-sum. They stand on their own. — Ned Price, US state department spokesperson
Series Screened in Kerala, Hyderabad
Thiruvananthapuram/Hyderabad: The BBC documentary was screened across Kerala on Tuesday by various political organisations, including the pro-left Students Federation of India even as the BJP Yuva Morcha went up in arms protesting against the screening. Tensions prevailed in some areas, including the state capital, where the police had to use water cannons and tear gas to disperse Yuva Morcha protesters. At University of Hyderabad also, a group of students organised its screening. Agencies
‘Truth comes out’
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday said any kind of ban, oppression and frightening people was not going to stop the truth from coming out. “You can ban, you can suppress the press, you can control the institutions, you can use the CBI and ED, but the truth is the truth. It shines bright. It has a nasty habit of coming out,” he said. PTI
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