Washington: A bipartisan group of 18 American lawmakers has written to House Speaker Paul Ryan, asking him to raise the issue of religious freedom in India during his meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “Religious minority communities including Muslims, Christians, Buddhists, and Sikhs have endured ongoing violence and harassment for decades in India, and continue to live in a climate where known perpetrators commit violence with impunity,” the members of the Congress, led by Trent Franks and Betty McCollum, wrote. “We respectfully request that during your meetings with the Prime Minister, the ‘shared value’ of the fundamental right of religious freedom will be a priority in your conversation,” they said ahead of the Ryan-Modi meeting.
“It is in the best interest of the US and India to reaffirm religious freedom as a shared value in this growing partnership and ensure that conversation concerning justice and accountability for such horrific acts of violence continues,” the letter said. In the letter, the lawmakers cite several specific examples of violent attacks that have killed or displaced religious minorities. Human rights groups in India have investigated and traced these attacks to specific groups, but a current climate of impunity exists in India around such attacks and many victims never receive justice, they said.
“We consider the shared values of the US and India, due attention to the fundamental human right of religious freedom is of the utmost importance,” Franks said. “Religious minority communities in India have endured incidents of harassment, discrimination, intimidation and violent attacks for decades, often with little hope for justice. PTI Washington: Assuring continuity in reforms and predictable tax policies, but with a firm hand against evasion, Prime Minister Narendra Modi invited USA Inc to invest in his country to forge a win-win partnership between American innovation and Indian human resource. Speaking at a gala hosted by the US-India Business Council here, he also called upon rich nations to open up their economies to goods and services from emerging countires like India as they seek to make world-class merchandise not just for themselves but also for the entire globe.
“India is the future human resource powerhouse of the world with a young hard-working population. In my vision, a partnership between American capital and innovation, and Indian human resource and entrepreneurship can be very powerful,” Modi said. “I am convinced we can strengthen both our economies through such a partnership,” said the prime minister to a packed audience that included the top brass of companies like PepsiCo, Master Card, Warburg Pincus, Lockheeed Martin, Boeing, Westinghouse, Intelsat, Emerson and 8Minute Energy. The prime minister said his government will continue to strengthen the Make in India initiative, which was intended not only for manufacturing for the domestic market or import substitution but was also about making world-class products and services for the whole globe.
“That is why, for us, improvements towards free trade are important. It is very important for us that developed countries open their markets not only to goods from countries like India but also to services. I see this as a win-win proposition for the US and for India.”He also held out an assurance: “We will continue to make our tax policies more predictable.” Earlier, the office bearers of US-India Business Council said their members have already invested $28 billion in India since September 2014 and that another $45 billion was in the pipeline, even by a conservative estimate. IANS
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