The White House official said that the President would not only talk about the issue in private but might also make a public statement on the issue.
US President Donald Trump is likely to raise the issue of religious freedom in India during his one-on-one meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, PTI quoted a senior White House official as saying.
Days before the official visit of President Trump to India begins, the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, which is a bipartisan U.S body, criticised the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) passed by the Modi government. The body has termed CAA as a big downturn in the matter of religious freedom in the country.
Responding to the question of whether President Trump will broach the issue of CAA and the National Register of Citizens (NRC) with PM Modi, the senior White House official replied in affirmative and said that the President would not only talk about the issue in private but might also make a public statement on the issue.
The White House values India’s democratic traditions and has great respect for India’s institutions and it would encourage India to keep on these traditions. The official further said that the issue of religious freedom holds great importance for the Trump administration.
The Modi government recently passed the Citizenship Amendment Bill which gives citizenship to the Hindus, Sikhs, Parsis, Buddhists, Christians and Jains from three neighboring Islamic countries- Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan- who had come to India before December 31st, 2014. The passage of the bill has led to countrywide protests with critics questioning the government’s decision to bring the angle of religion in the issue of citizenship.
President Trump along with his family, including his wife Melania Trump, daughter Ivanka Trump, son-in-law Jared Kushner, is coming on a two-day visit to India on Monday. A massive welcoming event has been planned on Monday in Gujarat’s capital city Ahmedabad on the lines of the “Howdy Modi” event that took place in the US during PM Modi’s visit. The Trump family will also visit the Taj Mahal in Agra from where they will head to New Delhi.