India’s Key Minister Narendra Modi (L) attends a assembly with US President Donald Trump all through the G20 Osaka Summit in Osaka on June 28, 2019.

Brendan Smialowski | AFP | Getty Photos

U.S. President Donald Trump will raise the situation of religious freedom in India in the course of his conferences with Key Minister Narendra Modi upcoming week, a senior administration formal reported, a delicate issue for the Indian authorities.

Modi’s govt has faced massive scale-protests at dwelling and criticism overseas for enacting a citizenship legislation that is found as discriminating from Muslims and has deepened worries his administration in undermining India’s secular traditions.

That evaluate came months after the Indian governing administration withdrew the specific autonomy provided to the Muslim-vast majority territory of Kashmir, tightening its hold. It also jailed dozens of political opponents and separatists and imposed a communications blackout.

Trump, who is because of in India on Monday, will chat about the two countries’ shared traditions of democracy and spiritual liberty, the senior administration official claimed in a conference get in touch with on Friday ahead of the two-excursion.

“He will raise these troubles, significantly the spiritual independence difficulty, which is extremely essential to this administration,” the formal reported.

Modi’s ruling Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party denies any bias from the country’s 180 million Muslims.

It has strongly rebuffed overseas criticism, saying the alterations in Kashmir and the new citizenship law were being inner issues. In latest months, New Delhi has clashed with Muslim-the greater part international locations these types of as Turkey and Malaysia after they criticized the government’s insurance policies.

Modi, who has built a individual rapport with Trump, is pulling out all the stops for the check out, which will kick off in his political hometown of Ahmedabad with a significant community reception.

Quickly immediately after profitable a 2nd term in business office final calendar year, Modi experienced spoken about his government’s precedence of inclusive growth for all people, which include spiritual minorities, the administration official mentioned.

“And I think that the President will communicate about these difficulties in his meetings with Primary Minister Modi and take note that the entire world is looking to India to continue on to uphold its democratic traditions, respect for religious minorities,” the official reported.

Trump has confronted criticism at dwelling for imposing a vacation ban on numerous Muslim-majority nations, a shift he has argued is vital to guard from terrorism.

Four U.S. senators wrote to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo this month, saying Modi’s steps in Kashmir and the citizenship rules ended up troubling and “threaten the legal rights of selected religious minorities and the secular character of the condition.”

The bipartisan group of Senators Lindsey Graham, Todd Younger, Chris Van Hollen and Dick Durbin questioned the Condition Division for facts in 30 times about the amount of political detainees in Kashmir, constraints on the online and mobile cellphone assistance, and access for foreign diplomats, journalists and observers.

They also expressed issue over the crackdown on protesters opposing the citizenship law, which lays out a path to Indian nationality for 6 spiritual teams from neighboring international locations like Hindus, Sikhs and Christians, but not Muslims.



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