India urged to condemn Russia if it wants to be taken seriously

Published March 6, 2022
A file photo of US Representative Ted Lieu. — Reuters
A file photo of US Representative Ted Lieu. — Reuters

WASHINGTON: A senior US lawmaker has called upon India to condemn Russia if it wants to be taken seriously on the world stage.

At a recent emergency session of the UN General Assembly, 141 countries voted for a resolution condemning Russia and demanding immediate withdrawal of its troops from Ukraine. But 35 countries — including India, Pakistan and Bangladesh — abstained. Five, including Russia, voted against it.

The voting pattern came up for discussion at a hearing of the House Foreign Affairs Committee where a senior lawmaker, Ted Lieu, criticised New Delhi for abandoning democratic principles for appeasing Russia. “If India wants to be taken seriously on the world stage, if they want to be part of their family of democracies, they need to condemn Russia,” said Mr Lieu who is a co-chair of the House Committee for Democratic Policy and Communications.

“It’s not very hard to do. It’s not like we’re asking India to sanction Russia, just condemn them,” Mr Lieu added, noting that India “is a democracy that wants to be respected on the world stage” and yet it did not vote for the resolution.

“And what did they get in exchange? Russia gave India six hours to get Indian residents evacuated out of Ukraine, six hours. That’s what India got in exchange,” he said. “That’s a slap in the face to India.”

Published in Dawn, March 6th, 2022

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