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April 4, 2024 1:13 PM IST

US questioned on silence over arrests of Pakistani opposition leaders while being vocal on similar cases in India

Arvind Kejriwal | Enforcement Directorate | U.S. State Department | Mathew Miller | Delhi excise policy

The spokesperson of the U.S. State Department, Mathew Miller, found himself in a tight spot during a press briefing on Wednesday, when a journalist questioned the State Department’s vocal response to the arrest of Indian opposition leader Arvind Kejriwal while remaining silent on the arrests of Pakistani opposition leaders.

Miller declined to equate both cases, saying that the US prioritizes upholding the rule of law and human rights for all Pakistani citizens.

“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.

The arrest of Arvind Kejriwal, an Indian opposition leader, by the Enforcement Directorate in connection with a money laundering case related to the Delhi excise policy, has garnered international attention.

On Tuesday, responding to remarks over Kejriwal’s arrest by the U.S., Germany and the UN envoy, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said that sovereign countries should not be interfering in each other’s internal affairs.

“No country has the right to comment on another country’s politics, especially in situations like this,” he said, adding that India has lodged its protest over the remarks with the diplomats of these countries.

“Because once, if this becomes a rule, where do you stop? We have told the diplomats of that country very clearly that we take very strong objection to it.”

Regarding India’s summoning of US diplomats over the comments made on Kejriwal’s arrest and the freezing of Congress party’s bank accounts, Miller said that the US was closely monitoring the situation.

“We encourage fair, transparent and timely legal processes for each of these issues”.

Meanwhile, India’s Ministry of External Affairs condemned the State Department’s remark, stating that they were unwarranted and unacceptable.

(Inputs from ANI)

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