John Kerry lectures Modi government on freedom of expression, tolerance and religious polarisation

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US Secretary of State, John Kerry has made an indirect dig at Modi government by lecturing it on freedom of expression in India.
 
He said, “We have to respect rights of all our citizens irrespective of creed and allow them to protest in peace without fear that they will be jailed for speaking.”
 
Speaking at IIT-Delhi, Kerry also commented on religious polarisation in India but said that he did not want to get involved in the politics of another nation.
 
He said that polarisation anywhere was not good and it reflected intolerance and frustration. Kerry also added that people did not see government moving fast enough to cope with problems.
 
He said, “In this age of information, people have access to immediate information. I don’t want to get on road which will act as my comment on the ongoing politics of another nation. But the key is to have tolerance to work through issues.”
 
He said that Islam was a great religion but some people had hijacked it carry out their dirty agenda.
 
On the need to combat terrorism, Kerry said, “Terror groups like Daesh, Al Qaeda, LeT, JeM can’t be fought by a single nation alone. We have to ensure that terrorists have no place to hide, prepare or plan.
 
“We must strike at the root causes of violent extremism and we have to work hard to understand the different variations of causes. Because it does vary from country to country, location to location, place to place. It means combating, ending corruption wherever it exists so that you can rebuild trust in institutions.”
 
On Indo-US ties, Kery said, “President Obama and PM Modi have established a personal relationship that is built on the common sense of purpose and vision.”

He also said that the US was ‘very encouraged’ by the steps taken by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in pursuing key initiatives such as Startup India…

“The Indian government has passed GST bill and new bankruptcy laws, made changes in foreign investment regulations. India is an established power and an essential partner of the US. India is playing a crucial role in the world today,” he added.
 
(With agencies inputs)

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