U.S. pursuing double-standard in fight against terror, alleges D. Raja

   May 7, 5:09 pm

New Delhi, May 7 (ANI): Communist Party of India (CPI) lawmaker D. Raja on Monday accused the United States of double-standards as far as the fight against terror was concerned.

"It is known to everybody since days of Mr. George Bush (former U.S. President) the whole world knows (that) the U.S. is pursuing a double-standard as far as the fight against terror is concerned. U.S. looks at everything from its own narrow self-interest, not keeping in view the whole world," said Raja, when asked to comment on U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's comment that Al Qaeda's new chief Ayman al-Zawahiri is in Pakistan.

When asked whether America would dictate India's foreign policy, he said: "That is the point. The U.S. cannot interfere in the policy making of our country. We are a sovereign nation and we have a sovereign Parliament. Policymaking is our job, U.S. cannot dictate to us or Hillary Clinton cannot dictate to us. She should understand her limits. She is the Secretary to Foreign Affairs to America and she cannot dictate such things particularly on our own soil."

"It is gross interference in our affairs. We strongly condemn this and we strongly reject whatever she has said as far as import of oil from Iran is concerned," he added.

Clinton, who is presently on a three-day visit to India, has urged New Delhi to reduce its Iranian oil imports to keep up pressure on the Islamic republic to come clean about its nuclear program.

Clinton said New Delhi could find and tap alternative sources for oil, and added that Washington would like to see New Delhi do more to reduce its imports from Iran.

"India... is certainly working towards lowering purchases of Iranian oil. We commend the steps they have taken thus far. We hope they will do even more," she said, while addressing a town hall meeting in Kolkata.

Clinton said that she believed there was "adequate" supply of oil in the marketplace, including from Saudi Arabia, to make up for reductions from Iran.

"If there weren't an adequate supply... we would understand, but we believe that there is adequate supply," Clinton said.

India, with a growth rate of about seven percent, has a nearly insatiable need for oil. About nine percent of its oil imports are from Iran, though officials say it has reduced its dependency on Iranian oil in recent months,

"We appreciate what has been done and, of course, we want to keep the pressure on Iran," Clinton said.

For India, Iran is its second largest oil supplier after Saudi Arabia.

"We believe, at this moment in time, the principle threat is a nuclear-armed Iran. We need India to be part of the international effort," Clinton said.

Clinton said the United States wanted a peaceful solution and pointed to efforts by President Barack Obama early in his term to reach out to Iran. (ANI)

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