The government of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is facing increasing pressure from the United States, the European Union, and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to rethink and reset its concerns about Kashmir and opposition to the country’s Muslims And the extreme Hindu agenda of other minorities.
In a recent two-day visit to India, US Secretary of State Antony John Blinken bluntly expressed reservations about India’s suppression of dissent and discrimination against Muslims, the country’s largest ethnic minority.
In a joint press conference with India’s foreign minister, Blinken said the US and India should “take seriously our responsibility to deliver freedom, equality and opportunity to all of our people”, adding “we know that we must constantly do more on these fronts, and neither of us has achieved the ideals that we set for ourselves.”
Last week, US President Joe Biden appointed Rashad Husse as no ambassador for international religious freedom. Hussein was the first Muslim to be nominated for a key position.
In early March, the Human Rights Report of the US State Department listed some abuses against Muslims and other minorities by Indian law enforcement agencies. United Nations Human Rights Commissioner Michelle Bachelet also expressed disappointment at the death of 84-year-old Father Stan Swami while in custody in India last month.
Father Stan was a human rights defender and Jesuit priest in Mumbai and was popularly referred to as India’s oldest prisoner.
Separately, 16 members of European Parliament wrote a letter last week to the president of the European Commission on the atrocities in Indian-occupied Kashmir and urged it to implement the UN resolutions.
The letter states: “the EU should use all its leverage and tools to cooperate with our Indian and Pakistani partners to honor the pledge made to the Kashmiris by the international community and create an environment conducive to implementation of the United Nations resolutions.”