by Muslim Mirror Staff
Former US President Barack Obama expressed apprehensions about India, stating on Thursday, June 22, that New Delhi runs the risk of “pulling apart” if it fails to uphold the rights of its Muslim minority. He further urged for this issue to be addressed during the ongoing US visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Obama stated that given the opportunity, he would engage in a conversation with Prime Minister Modi to address concerns regarding the safeguarding of the rights of ethnic minorities in India.
“I think it is true that if the president meets with Prime Minister Modi, then the protection of the Muslim minority in a majority-Hindu India, that’s something worth mentioning.”
“If I had a conversation with Prime Minister Modi, who I know well, part of my argument would be that if you do not protect the rights of ethnic minorities in India, that there is a strong possibility at some point that India starts pulling apart,” Obama said.
“We’ve seen what happens when you start getting those kinds of large internal conflicts. So that would be contrary to the interests not just of Muslim India but also of Hindu India,” he added.
Just sat down for an exclusive w/ President @BarackObama in Athens to discuss the future of democracy, at home & abroad. I asked how the US should engage with autocracies. Watch his response.
— Christiane Amanpour (@amanpour) June 22, 2023
Obama reflected on his time as the President and acknowledged that he had to navigate relationships with numerous political leaders with whom he held differing views and ideologies.
“The president of the United States has a lot of equities,” he said. “And when I was president, I would deal with figures in some cases who were allies, who, you know, if you pressed me in private, do they run their governments and their political parties in ways that I would say are ideally democratic? I’d have to say no.”
PM Modi’s US visit
During his State visit to the US, Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived at the White House on Thursday, where he was received by approximately 7,000 Indian Americans gathered on the South Lawn. The Prime Minister was dressed in a white kurta complemented by a sky-blue jacket.
In attendance to welcome him was the US delegation, led by Vice President Kamala Harris. On the Indian side, the delegation was headed by Indian Foreign Minister Dr. S Jaishankar, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra, and Indian Ambassador to the US Taranjit Sandhu.
While welcoming PM Modi, Biden said, “I have long believed that the relationship between the US and India will be one of the most defining relationships of the 21st century. The challenges and opportunities facing the world in this century require that India and the United States work and lead together.”
(with inputs from agencies)