India denies visas to US religious freedom body

WASHINGTON: India has denied visas for a delegation from the US government agency charged with monitoring international religious freedom, the agency said on Thursday. The delegation from the US Commission on International Religious Freedom had been scheduled to leave for India on Friday for a long-planned visit with the support of the US State Department and the US embassy in New Delhi, but India had failed to issue the necessary visas, the commission said. “We are deeply disappointed by the Indian government’s denial, in effect, of these visas,” USCIRF chairman Robert George said in a statement. “As a pluralistic, non-sectarian, and democratic state, and a close partner of the United States, India should have the confidence to allow our visit,” he said. George said USCIRF had been able to travel to many countries, including those among the worst offenders of religious freedom. “One would expect that the Indian government would allow for more transparency than have these nations, and would welcome the opportunity to convey its views directly to USCIRF.” The Indian embassy in Washington did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Source: Reuters
Source: News Pakistan

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