The United Kingdom government on Tuesday hailed the religious diversity in India, highlighting its "rich tapestry of religious minorities alongside its sizable Hindu majority" during a debate on the human rights of religious minorities in India, in the House of Commons.
In the debate, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) minister Nigel Adams, assured the MPs that any “difficult issues” around human rights are raised in a free and open manner with the Indian counterparts, restating that India's secular Constitution provides equal rights to every citizen.
"Those of us who have had the pleasure of visiting India know that it is a magnificent country. It is one of the most religiously diverse countries in the world. I can confirm that during the Foreign Secretary's (Dominic Raab) visit to India in December, he raised a number of these human rights issues with his Indian counterpart, including the situation in Kashmir and our concern around many consular cases we look to the government of India to address these concerns and protect the rights of people of all religions. That is in keeping with India's Constitution and a proud and inclusive tradition," Adams said.
However, Conservative Party MP Theresa Villiers challenged Adam's statement on human rights in India and said, "I argue that India's record on minority faiths stands up to scrutiny. I do not accept that there is evidence of systemic or state-sponsored persecution of religious minorities."
In December last year, India's External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab had agreed on the key elements of an ambitious 10-year roadmap to further broaden ties between the two countries, and also boost strategic cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region.
(With PTI Inputs)