‘They have been wrong before’: Foreign minister Jaishankar on UNHRC’s CAA move
External affairs minister S Jaishankar said on Saturday the United Nations rights body has been wrong before amid its decision to approach the Supreme Court challenging the amended citizenship act.
The commissioner of the UN Human Rights Commission (UNHRC), Michelle Bachelet, had on Monday informed India that her office has filed an intervention application in Supreme Court over the Citizenship Amendment Act or CAA.
India has already said the citizenship act is an internal matter of India and that no foreign party has a locus standi on issues related to the country’s sovereignty.
And on Saturday, Jaishankar said every country, including the US, has different citizenship criteria which are based on context and social criteria.
The minister also pointed out that the international body has been wrong before as he cited its reports and statements on the situation in Jammu and Kashmir
“They carefully skirt around the problem of cross-border terrorism in the region as if it has nothing to do with Kashmir,” he said at the Global Business Summit, according to news agency ANI.
Jaishankar was also asked if India has not been able to explain its position on CAA or has been misunderstood.
“There are sections of the world outside the media. I engage governments. I was in a room with 27 foreign ministers in Brussels whom I was talking to… Point we make on CAA is that it can’t be anybody’s case that a government and parliament doesn’t have the right to set terms of citizenship,” he said in his reply, ANI reported.
“We have tried to reduce a large number of stateless people we have in this country. Everybody, when they look at citizenship, has a context,” he added.
Jaishankar also said New Delhi is now getting to know who its true allies were when he asked if “we are losing friends in the world”.
“Maybe we are getting to know who our friends really are,” he said.
Bachelet has also expressed serious concern over CAA and the riots in north-east Delhi and called on India’s leadership to prevent further violence.
The United Nations human rights office had described the citizenship act as “fundamentally discriminatory in nature” and had called for it to be reviewed shortly after it was passed by Parliament in December last year.
India has said CAA was aimed at protecting minorities from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan, but the UN body noted that the law “does not extend the same protection to Muslims, including minority sects”.