USCIRF’s Stand on India and the Silence from the US

by Syeda Tahreem Bukhari

The exemption to India in the list of “Country of Particular Concern” by the US State Department ignite another debate concerning the biased approach adopted by the US regarding its allies and partners versus the rest of the countries. Raising the voice on a humanitarian crisis by the US would not be acknowledged in future when it is maintaining silence on all of these by focusing on one state. The humanitarian card played by the west in Russia-Ukraine war miserably failed by the conspicuous silence on prevalent targeting of religious minorities in India. In Manipur, Christians are the target, cow vigilantes are indiscriminately targeting Muslims, lynching them as backed by India’s ruling party who promised to get them acquitted.

The space for religious minorities has shrunk in India where they are the victim of structural and cultural violence. Discriminate laws passed in India to avenge religious minorities. Citizenship Amendment Act by the government was to restrain Muslims from getting Indian citizenship. The bulldozer politics is justified to silence the religious minorities and their religious leaders make open calls for Muslims Genocide. Love Jihad is another Islamophobic theory spread by right wing Hindu extremists to ignite religious intolerance.  Due to India’s systematic, ongoing violation of religious freedom, the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) has consistently urged the US to classify India as a ‘Country of Particular Concern’ (CPC) since 2020. The list of countries compiled by the US State Department relies on evaluations carried out by the independent USCIRF. It raised deep concern over the escalating transnational targeting of religious minorities and individuals engaged in advocacy on their behalf. The endeavors by the Indian government to suppress activists, journalists, and legal professionals beyond its borders present a formidable challenge to the principle of religious freedom. Sikh and Kashmiri Diaspora abroad threatened by India’s transnational terrorism network. While the USCIRF suggested that India labeled a country of particular concern, in this instance, the State Department chose to disregard the USCIRF’s recommendation.

Notwithstanding explicit endorsements from the USCIRF, coupled with the vocal apprehensions expressed by global human rights constituencies regarding India’s alleged persecution of religious minorities, the nation yet again been omitted from the designation list compiled by the United States Department of State. This conspicuous absence engenders significant inquiries pertaining to the overall credibility, transparency, and objectivity inherent in the entirety of the designation process. Furthermore, this exclusion is going to have ramifications for minorities within state and abroad, as India would not be facing any consequences on its ongoing targeting of religious minorities. Its transnational terrorism network would also be strengthened in silencing the sane voices abroad by targeting the religious minorities. The US somehow would be responsible behind this threat to global peace emanating from the transnational repression by India.


Author is a Research Officer at the Centre for Strategic Studies, AJK. She is an M Phil Scholar in Peace and Conflict Studies from National Defence University, Islamabad. She tweets @Tehmii_Syed.

You may also like

Leave a Comment

Stay Connected

Follow and subscribe

Contact CISS AJK

Center for International Strategic Studies AJK, King Abdullah Campus Chatter kalas Muzaffarabad, Azad Jammu and Kashmir