US questioned on silence on arrest of Pakistan’s opposition leaders while being vocal on similar cases in India

The US Department of State spokesperson Mathew Miller was put on the spot during a press briefing on Wednesday when a journalist questioned him on the state department taking a stand on the arrest of Indian opposition leader Arvind Kejriwal but not doing the same on arrests of Pakistopposition leaders.

Mathew Miller refused to categorise both cases into one and said that the US wanted to see everyone in Pakistan treated with consistent rule of law and human rights.

“I would not agree with that characterization. We have made clear on a number of occasions that we want to see everyone in Pakistan treated consistent with the rule of law, treated with respect for human rights, as is our position with respect to any country in the world,” Miller said.

Kejriwal was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate for alleged money laundering in connection with the Delhi excise policy case.

On Tuesday, highlighting on US, Germany and the UN envoys making political remarks over Indian politics after Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s arrest, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar used the word “Maryada”, saying that we are sovereign countries and should not be interfering in each other’s internal affairs.

Speaking at a press conference in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, EAM Jaishankar emphasised that these are old and bad habits.”…These are old habits. These are bad habits…The word I use is ‘Maryada’ among countries, we are sovereign countries. We should not be interfering in each other’s internal affairs. We should not be passing comments about each other’s politics,” he said.He further underscored that they have told the diplomats of these countries that India strongly objects to this.”Because once, if this becomes a rule, where do you stop? So we have been, in the cases where it has happened, we have told the diplomats of that country very clearly that we take very strong objection to it,” Jaishankar said.

He further said that other countries do not hold any right to comment on another country’s politics.

“We think this is not a good practice. And we would sincerely urge all countries in the world to say that you please, by all means, you can have your views about the world. But no country has the right to comment on another country’s politics, especially in situations like this,” he said.

Last week, US State Department spokesperson Mathew Miller was asked about his response to India’s summoning US diplomat over comments on Delhi CM Kejriwal’s arrest and freezing of Congress party’s bank accounts, to which he said that they are following these actions closely.

“We continue to follow these actions closely, including the arrest of Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal. We are also aware of the Congress party’s allegations that tax authorities have frozen some of their bank accounts in a manner that will make it challenging to effectively campaign in the upcoming elections,” Miller added.

“And we encourage fair, transparent and timely legal processes for each of these issues,” he stressed.

Stating that India is proud of its “robust and independent” democratic institutions, the Ministry of External Affairs called the remarks by the US State Department on the arrest of Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal “unwarranted”, adding that any such external imputation on our electoral and legal processes is “completely unacceptable.”

Prior to this, India summoned the German Deputy Chief of Mission in New Delhi to lodge a strong protest against their foreign office spokesperson’s remarks on the arrest of Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal.

On April 1, the Rouse Avenue Court had sent the Delhi CM to to judicial custody till April 15 in the alleged money laundering case linked to the Delhi excise policy case.


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