Congress responds to US envoy's comments on Manipur conflict, asserts responsibility lies with Indian governmenttext_fields
New Delhi: Congress leader Jairam Ramesh has called on External Affairs Minister Jaishankar to inform the US Ambassador that the United States has no role to play in the state of Manipur, stating that it is the responsibility of the Indian government, state government, civil society, and political parties to restore peace and harmony.
He tweeted, "Will the External Affairs Minister @DrSJaishankar summon the US Ambassador and tell him in no uncertain terms that the USA has no role whatsoever to play in Manipur? The responsibility for bringing back peace and harmony in Manipur is that of the Union Govt, the state govt, the civil society and political parties in the state, especially."
Highlighting that the issue is an internal matter for India, Ramesh urged for a sensitive and resolute approach in addressing the situation, while questioning the silence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He emphasised that this is an Indian challenge that must be tackled by Indians, stating, "The Prime Minister is silent and the Home Minister has been ineffective. That does not mean that there is any opening for any other country. This is an Indian challenge which we as Indians have to address sensitively and resolutely."
The remarks from Jairam Ramesh came in response to US Ambassador Eric Garcetti's comments on the Manipur violence.
Garcetti, during a press conference in Kolkata, acknowledged the progress in the Northeast region and expressed readiness to assist if asked. He said, "There has been so much progress" in the region, and it's not possible without peace. Regarding the situation in Manipur, Garcetti emphasised that it is an Indian matter, and the US prays for peace in the region as it can bring more collaboration, projects, and investment.
In reaction to Garcetti's comments, Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi stated that foreign diplomats typically refrain from commenting on internal developments in India.
Bagchi, during a media briefing, mentioned that he had not seen the US Ambassador's comments but expressed that peace is desired and efforts are underway by Indian agencies, security forces, and local government to address the situation. He also noted that foreign diplomats usually do not comment on internal developments in India.
The violence in Manipur started on May 3, 2023 following a rally by the All Tribal Students Union of Manipur (ATSUM) opposing the proposed inclusion of the Meitei community in the list of Scheduled Tribes. The conflict has so far taken the lives of 130 people. Many are displaced and are living in relief camps.