CAA : Ministry of External Affairs Says Diplomats Briefed Adequately
To a question on some diplomats were not briefed by the Ministry of External Affairs on the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) related issues, Minister of External Affairs official Spokesperson, Raveesh Kumar refuting the claims said, “We did reach out to countries across all the geographical regions with our friends and partners, we did write to our missions and posts, we did tell them that to share our perspectives on CAA and NRC with the host government”.
On the manner in which information was provided, Raveesh Kumar said, “Now there are three- four points which we asked the missions to share, the first is that this is an internal process, this is a matter internal to India, number one, number two we also asked them to convey to them that the act just provides expedited consideration for Indian citizenship to persecuted minorities already in India from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh, number three we also conveyed to them that it does not affect the existing avenues which are available to other communities from seeking citizenship or those who are interested in seeking citizenship and number four it also does not seek to strip anybody from any Indian citizen of any faith.
And more importantly I think something which has been going on in the foreign press that it does not in anyway alter the basic structure of the Constitution. So these are the points which we conveyed to our Ambassadors and Consul Generals, we asked them to reach out not only to their interlocutors in the government but also to the media as well. Now, the nature of engagement may depend on the subject matter”.
Kumar claimed that the Ministry carries out, “a very proactive diplomacy here in Delhi on this case but we also realise d that there is lot of explaining which is involved”.
A two pronged strategy was adopted that apart from reaching out to, you know, some of the resident Ambassadors and High Commissioners who are based here ,we will also ask our Ambassadors and high commissioners abroad to engage with capitals across different countries he said.
On the points of briefing he said, “Basically we have told them that both are different processes. There is no relation between CAA and NRC. About CAA and NRC we have we have told that these are supreme court mandated processes, it is our internal matter and what we are doing, this is as per the direction of Supreme court)”.
Meanwhile Former National Security Adviser and Foreign Secretary Shiv Shanker Menon raised serious concerns over recent drop in India’s image in the international community.
Speaking at a programme in the national capital, Menon said, “What we have achieved in recent past is to hyphenate our image with Pakistan’s in a fundamental way as religiously-driven and intolerant states…. We have lost India’s ability to be an example and a model for other countries in the subcontinent…” He said, “Disengagement or going it alone is not an option, but we seem determined with actions like this to cut ourselves off and isolate ourselves.”
Menon went to the extent of even questioning Foreign Minister S Jaishankar’s decision to cancel a meeting with the US Congress’s foreign affairs committee, to be attended by Chennai-born US Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal. “Rather than attending a meeting and rebutting these charges, we chose to duck this,” he said. “We have broken the bipartisan consensus that used to exist in the US for the last 25 years.”
He added that, “All knowledgeable people I have spoken to seem to agree that we seem to be in violation of our international commitments.
For those who say international law cannot be enforced, we must consider the political and other consequences of being perceived as violators of international law,” Menon said.