Editorial: Diplomatic double whammy for India over citizenship

  • Japan
  • Wednesday, 18 Dec 2019

NEW DELHI (ANN): It has been a diplomatic double whammy for India, if ever there was one.

Twenty-four hours after the Bangladesh foreign and home ministers cancelled their scheduled visit to India, Japan's Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, has dropped plans to attend the annual India-Japan summit next week.

The initial flutter in the South Asian roost has extended to a pivotal swathe of Asia. The Ministry of External Affair's assurance that India and Japan have decided to defer the visit to a "mutually convenient date" is only a strained attempt to wriggle out of a mess of New Delhi's creation.

Within South Asia, the romantic euphoria over the pink ball diplomacy has dissipated.

Though embattled Afghanistan is yet to react to the passage of the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) in Parliament, Imran Khan's bluster over an issue that pertains to India is now part of the Pakistan Prime Minister's furniture if his reaction to the change in the status of Kashmir is any indication.

It is deeply regrettable too that the equation with Bangladesh appears to have soured - following a certain upswing.

Though it must be quite another story that Trinamul members of the House of Elders didn't vote. Specifically, the Bill will readily provide citizenship to the persecuted communities in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan... save Muslims.

As an immediate fallout, the foreign minister of Bangladesh, AK Abdul Momen, and home minister Asaduzzaman Khan cancelled their scheduled visits to India from Dec 13-15 to participate in the sixth "Indian Ocean Dialogue".

Both have made their country's pique pretty obvious.

Dhaka is upset over the passage of the CAB, most importantly the allegation that religious minorities in Bangladesh are being persecuted.

The cancellation of the visit to Delhi has been as abrupt as it could be and has been couched in a robust denunciation of the bill.

Clearly, the Citizenship Amendment Bill has rocked the diplomatic boat fair and square.

But Japan has been gracious enough not to readily condemn the bill in the manner of Bangladesh and Pakistan. The message has been conveyed, nonetheless. India's diplomatic credibility is at stake. - The Statesman/Asia News Network.

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India. Bill , Japan , Bangaladesh , diplomacy


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