New Delhi, October 13: India is in discussion with the United States on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA) and H1B visa issues. However, New Delhi also rejected all the suggestions that the US was hyphenating India and Pakistan and has said that ties between India and America are comprehensive and should not be seen through the prism of a third country.
Notably, MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said that the External Affairs Ministry Sushma Swaraj has already raised the DACA and H1B visa issues during her meeting with U.S. State Secretary Rex Tillerson in New York. Kumar also said that the issues were also discussed between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Trump during their meeting in Washington D.C.
Raveesh Kumar said, "Most recently the issues of DACA and H1B visas were taken up by the Minister Sushma Swaraj when she had a meeting with U.S. State Secretary Rex Tillerson in the New York on the sidelines of the UNGA." "We are aware of the fact that around 8,000 Indians could be affected by the DACA policy so we strongly raised took the matter of DACA and H1B visas and we conveyed our position on the matters, " he added.
Responding to a question during a press conference on whether Tillerson's visit to Pakistan could come in India's way to isolate Islamabad, Kumar said, "We do not agree with this assessment that Tillerson visiting Pakistan and India together means anything." "We feel that India-US bilateral relations are very comprehensive and stand on their own merits and both the countries so do not look at our relationship through the prism of a third country," Raveesh Kumar noted.
MEA spokesperson further expressed hope that the '2 plus 2' strategic and security dialogue involving the US secretary of state Rex Tillerson, defence secretary James Mattis and Minister Sushma Swaraj and defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman would materialize soon.
MEA also slammed Pakistan Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi`s statement on India's role in Afghanistan and said that New Delhi is clear about its part in the war-torn nation. "Our position is very clear and consistent as we do not differentiate between good and bad Taliban. There are several forums for meetings on Afghanistan. We are members of some of them," Kumar stated.
The MEA spokesperson said, "India has conveyed its readiness to work closely with the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) member states in efforts to bring peace, prosperity and stability in Afghanistan."
"The Indian side also stressed on the need for an Afghan-led, Afghan-owned and Afghan-controlled national peace and reconciliation in an environment free of terror and violence, continued assistance for socio-economic development based on priorities of the people of Afghanistan, and ensuring greater connectivity and regional integration for Afghanistan,” he added.