S. Jaishankar, Union External Affairs Minister refuses to meet Pramila Jayapal.S. Jaishankar has canceled a meeting with a US congressional delegation after it refused to exclude from the interaction Indian American Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, who has been critical of the clampdown in Kashmir.
Elizabeth Warren, a Democratic candidate for the US presidential elections, tweeted: “Efforts to silence @PramilaJayapal are deeply troubling. The US and India have an important partnership — but our partnership can only succeed if it is rooted in honest dialogue and shared a respect for religious pluralism, democracy, and human rights.”
Jayapal described Jaishankar’s cancellation as deeply disturbing. “It only furthers the idea that the Indian government isn’t willing to listen to any dissent at all,” she tweeted.
Commenting on this, former junior external affairs minister Shashi Tharoor said: “This is totally unworthy of a great democracy like India. I can’t believe @DrSJaishankar with all his diplomatic experience would refuse to engage with a critic; whether you agree with him or not, he is able to debate anybody! This intolerance of dissent is a BJP political failing.”
The meeting was apparently canceled because new names had been added to the list of lawmakers to meet Jaishankar. Jayapal was one such addition along with with some others the Indian mission in Washington views as India-baiters.
Jaishankar’s decision has surprised South Asia experts and policy wonks in the US.