Fri, 01 Dec 2023

Washington DC [US], September 30 (ANI): Stating that India does not require lessons from others on the concept of freedom of speech, External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar,in an apparent reference to Canada, said that freedom of expression should not extend to incitement of violence.

Addressing a press conference in Washington DC on Friday, Jaishankar said,"...I flagged here (in US), and I flagged this to the Canadians as well. We are a democracy. We don't need to learn from other people what freedom of speech is about, but we can tell people this...we don't think freedom of speech extends to incitement to violence. That to us, is the misuse of freedom, that's not defence of freedom".

He further posed a question, asking how other countries would react if they were in India's position, with their diplomats, embassies, and citizens facing intimidation.

"How would you react if you were in my shoes? If it was your diplomats, your embassy, your people, what would be your reaction?" he added.

On being asked about Indian concerns regarding the attack on Indian consulate in San Francisco in July this year, the EAM said that the issue was raised during his visit to the US and described it as an ongoing discussion.

"Yes, of course we raised, it. What is the status...it's an ongoing conversation...Yes, I did spend some time on it...Yes, we discussed other things...Our relationship has many dimensions, many areas of cooperation. When we look at the world, there are areas we have convergences, and intersectionsof interest where we work very closely together, we are doing all of that," Jaishankar said.

He added,"Look, I want to be fair. If something is discussed, I am transparent about it. I have no problem saying yes we discussed it. I don't want you to think that in the India-US relationship, there is only one issue. I would say yes, it's an ongoing conversation".

In July this year, a group of pro-Khalistan supporters allegedly attempted to set fire to the Consulate in San Francisco. There was no major damage nor any injuries and police were carrying out an investigation into the incident.

Following the incident, the US strongly condemned the reported vandalism and attempted arson by pro-Khalistan supporters against the Indian Consulate in San Francisco. (ANI)

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